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XDefiant delays - executives from The Boys Club created a toxic team atmosphere and crises in development

XDefiant delays - executives from The Boys Club created a toxic team atmosphere and crises in development
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Several years ago, Ubisoft announced the free shooter XDefiant, and back in 2021, it was planned to start testing it in early access. However, this project faced delays.

Recently, it was delayed again. This latest delay was due to "serious technical problems" related to the game's network code. This issue was already described in November 2023. However, according to the Insider Gaming resource, the problems run much deeper. They are caused by the actions of several project managers and directors. The vast majority of the team call them "The Boys Club". Although it's not just about men.

Initially, The Boys Club referred to a few select individuals who were causing constant problems for the game's development. But over the years, this group has grown to about a dozen men and women. Sources reported that this group is the reason for missed deadlines, crises, a toxic work environment, and the dismissal of several people who left the project.

"There were many cases of people crying, having mental breakdowns, or ceasing to care about their well-being because of the toxic environment created by the Club."

Although there is no exact date when the "club" turned into something sinister, several sources have stated that this change became most noticeable around the time the company dropped the Tom Clancy brand. This was publicly announced in early 2022. This change meant more freedom for the project. However, in reality, The Boys Club took advantage of the newfound freedom to make unnecessary changes that affected the game's development.

Subsequently, things got so bad that the toxic work culture in the XDefiant project, crises, and internal problems became so widespread that knowledge of The Boys Club even spread to other Ubisoft studios.

One of the members of The Boys Club has no design experience or experience working with people, yet they were given directorial powers due to personal connections. As a result, developers were burdened with tasks beyond their initial job descriptions, ordered to work overtime to complete the task, and their suggestions were simply ignored.

"The Boys Club is a closed group of privileged individuals who consider themselves better than everyone else and do as they please with no consequences," said one developer working on the project.

By the end of 2023, the XDefiant team faced a huge problem with the network code. However, this problem had been known for years and could have been avoided if the leadership had listened to the rest of the team. But because suggestions did not come from their bubble (Club), the advice was always ignored.

The network code problem arose due to significant changes made by The Boys Club after they dropped the Tom Clancy brand. This led to an insane desire to chase after Call of Duty and add new factions, maps, and other features that had to be created from scratch. And when they were implemented, the Club repeatedly decided to cancel them. As a result, developers became increasingly disillusioned with the lack of progress in the project.

"They will choose a feature of their liking [similar to COD] and tell the designer/developer teams to come back later when they make the necessary changes. Even when the team makes these changes, The Boys Club will come up with something else, and the process will repeat for months. This led to either finally implementing that feature in the game or completely cutting it out."

Another source reported:

"Constantly changing approved features or adding new features that don't actually impact the game significantly set us back, perhaps by a year or so."

The XDefiant game has not been canceled yet. After the insanely popular open testing, Ubisoft hopes that the game can become the free hit they have been looking for for several years. However, its release date has not yet been announced.

It is worth noting that the disclosure of information about toxic working conditions at Ubisoft had unexpected consequences. Those YouTubers who covered this situation began receiving strikes from Ubisoft for copyright infringement.

Source: Insider Gaming

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