Patrice Désilets, designer of the historical action-adventure video game Assassin’s Creed, left Ubisoft in 2010 to work in the Montreal office of North American video game developer THQ. However, when THQ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2012, Ubisoft was one of several companies that came into purchase some of the developer’s assets in January—one of those being THQ Montreal. Désilets thus became a Ubisoft employee once again only to be fired last month.
“The acquisition of THQ Montréal in January allowed Ubisoft to welcome 170 experienced developers, including Patrice Désilets, to our existing and renowned workforce,” a Ubisoft representative told the video game website Kotaku in a statement. “Unfortunately, since the acquisition, the good faith discussions between Patrice and Ubisoft aimed at aligning Patrice’s and the studio’s visions have been inconclusive. As a result, Patrice has left the studio. Our priorities remain with the teams already hard at work on projects in development. They are at the root of Ubisoft Montréal’s past and future successes.”
Désilets, however, gave the video game website a different version of events. “Contrary to any statements made earlier today, this morning I was terminated by Ubisoft,” Désilets told Kotaku. “I was notified of this termination in person, handed a termination notice and was unceremoniously escorted out of the building by two guards without being able to say goodbye to my team or collect my personal belongings. … This was not my decision. … Ubisoft’s actions are baseless and without merit. I intend to fight Ubisoft vigorously for my rights, for my team and for my game.”
Désilets had been working on a game called 1666 while working at THQ, and the video game website Gamasutra reported that Ubisoft claimed that it was able to go ahead with the in-development 1666 with or without Désilets. The video game magazine Game Informer reported on June 8 that Désilets filed a lawsuit against his former company, and the game creator is seeking $400,000 from Ubisoft and the rights to purchase 1666.
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