The Ubisoft Toronto team has told us about the studio's working culture and approach to working from home, explained how they create a welcoming atmosphere for new team members, and how they’re prioritizing work-life balance at the studio.
Please introduce yourselves, what does your team do? Also, what are some of your favourite things about working at Ubisoft Toronto?
We’re the Ubisoft Toronto Talent Acquisition team! We collaborate with all the game production and support teams in our studio and assist them with their hiring needs. There are a ton of cool things about working here but some of our favourites are: working with passionate experts, supporting our employees as they grow their careers here, connecting with amazing candidates, seeing the excitement from new team members when they join our studio, and seeing projects go from conception (did you know that we’re working on the Splinter Cell remake?) to a successful launch, to name a few!
What kind of job functions exist at Ubisoft Toronto? Is it only programmers and artists?
Not at all – our studio has all sorts of teams in all kinds of disciplines. We do, of course, have game development teams that comprise production, art, programming, design, and testing teams. But there are also many other roles in our studio, including IT, operations, R&D, communications, marketing, and of course us, HR!
The studio is in Toronto, but where exactly is it located? Is it easy to get to and would I need to work from the studio every day?
Our studio is in the Junction Triangle at 244 Wallace Avenue, surrounded by great restaurants, parks and cafes – including one in our studio! It’s easily accessible by transit with both the Lansdowne subway station and the Bloor Go Train station nearby. We have a city bike rack right by our front door (to which we subsidize subscriptions) if you’re up for a bike ride in the summer.
We’ve embraced flexibility when it comes to where you work, meaning you have the option to work in studio, hybrid, or at home. You can read more about our approach and hybrid work culture here. We also hold fun events every month, and encourage our team members to be in the studio for moments that matter (like studio celebrations, project kickoffs, annual celebrations and so on…) so being within a reasonable distance of it doesn’t hurt
Creating a Welcoming Atmosphere for Newcomers
With team members being hybrid or working fully remote how do you make sure that newcomers feel welcome and supported? How do they integrate with their team?
Great question. First off, all newcomers take part in what we call “Basecamp” in their first week, where they’ll be introduced to peers joining the studio at the same time, get brought up to speed on any trainings and learn the day-to-day ropes of working at Ubisoft. Following that, they’ll be onboarded with their direct team and start to ramp-up on their projects. We also have a buddy system, so every newcomer is partnered with a go-to person on their team to help guide them, answer questions, and help them get settled in.
There are teams that organize “in office days” for workshops, events, lunches, team outings, and so on, but we do truly believe that the amount of flexibility we offer actually lets everyone bring their best self to work, whether that be in the studio, remotely or a mix of both.
We also have a really welcoming community at the studio, with a ton of ways to meet people outside of your day-to-day work. We have Employee Resource Groups (or ERGs for short) that employees can join to find a community in the studio, including groups like A.P.I. (Asian & Pacific Islanders), B.E.AU. (Black Employees At Ubisoft), Gente (Latin American & Hispanic community), Salaam (Middle Eastern & North African community), ND + MH + A11Y (Neurodiversity, mental health & accessibility), UbiProud (2SLGBTQIA+ employees) and the Women & Non Binary ERG. We also have a bunch of extra-curricular groups for employees that share similar interests or hobbies, so they can get together and partake in them. We also have various social events, like our “AFK Thursdays”, our general assemblies or even our holiday parties.
Other than job-related skills, what else do you look for in candidates?
We know that skills and competencies show up in different forms and can be based on different experiences. That's why we always strongly encourage people to apply to jobs that interest them, even if they feel like they might not have all the skills or experience we list in job descriptions.
People that make games and gamers alike are often extremely passionate about video games, and making games is its very own art form. Highlighting any experience that demonstrates prior work on a video game – be it professionally, as a hobby or through game jam – and letting that passion shine through on an application or resume really helps a candidate stand out. Too often, we see people bury a game-related passion project at the bottom of their resume or application, when it should be the first thing we see!
Overall, we welcome people who are excited to create the future of games, in one of the most diverse cities in the world. If this sounds exciting to you, give us a shout!
What benefits do you offer to your employees?
In addition to the flexibility mentioned above, with the opportunity to work in studio, hybrid or remote, we have a number of benefits to support better well-being and work/life for employees, including:
- Six weeks of paid vacation from the get go, regardless of seniority;
- We offer RRSP matching and comprehensive health benefits packages that covers disability insurance, dental insurance, eyecare and extended medical insurance;
- Virtual healthcare and mental health services available free of charge to support employees.
- An enhanced parental leave program;
- We also offer international candidates immigration and relocation assistance;
- Extensive professional training and mentorship programs that are personalized and focused to each job-function (both self-paced and instructor led), offer educations subsidies and organize knowledge exchange sessions;
- We also believe in “the right to disconnect”, meaning that when the workday is over, it’s over.
We also never stop listening! We think we have a great offering, but we continuously listen to our people and keep an eye on what is happening in the market to improve.
Of course – how could we forget! We have a “Console Reimbursement Program” that allows employees to buy a gaming console and then have part of its cost reimbursed through this program. Our employees can also get 2 free games per year and access to the whole Ubisoft catalogue of games for free if they play on PC through Ubisoft Connect.
Ubisoft Toronto's Culture
How would you describe the culture at UbiTO?
We’ve talked about what day-to-day life at our studio looks like, but when we zoom out, our culture can really be distilled into a focus on our people: we want to cultivate a caring and enriching work experience where everyone can feel great, be their best and grow together. A place where everyone feels comfortable being themselves and that they belong.
Our values – excellence, care, integrity, and trust – are at the heart of this and form the foundation of who we are, what we care about and how we work together. They also reflect a commitment from our leadership team to continue striving towards becoming a stronger, safer and more fun place to work. If you want to see how these core values come to life at our studio, you can check out this video:
Addressing Crunches and Burnouts
The industry can be known for its “crunch time”: increased workloads and tighter deadlines when approaching a game’s release date. How does your studio address that?
Ensuring the well-being and work-life balance of our team members throughout the production process is incredibly important to us. We want to have a flexible and sustainable work environment, and project management plays a key part – we’ve implemented tools to facilitate more efficient project management, we work more closely with Quality Control teams early on in development, and have also integrated more checkpoints during production to be better prepared for launch.
We also offer additional supports focused on health and wellness within our studio, including virtual health support, mental health and occupational health resources, flexibility for remote work and time off, and the right to disconnect – to name a few.
Anything you want to add?
Sure! You can get more of a glimpse about what it’s like to work at Ubisoft Toronto on our website, and through our social channels (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter). If you’re interested in working here, check out our How We Hire page – you can even find our contact details!