Patrice Désilets Sues Ubisoft For $400,000 And Rights To Purchase 1666
Update #2: Ubisoft has reached out to Game Informer with a slightly amended statement. The publisher will be meeting Désilets in court, indicating that there aren't plans for a settlement.
As stated before, the acquisition of THQ Montréal in January allowed Ubisoft to welcome 170 experienced developers to our existing and renowned workforce. Unfortunately, the discussions between Patrice Désilets and Ubisoft aimed at aligning Patrice’s and the studio’s visions were inconclusive. We received Patrice’s legal request and will address it in court. We will make no further comment at this point.
Update #1: Game Informer has received comment from Ubisoft.
As stated before, the acquisition of THQ Montréal in January allowed Ubisoft to welcome 170 experienced developers to our existing and renowned workforce. Unfortunately, the discussions between Patrice Désilets and Ubisoft aimed at aligning Patrice’s and the studio’s visions were inconclusive. We received Patrice’s legal request and we will take the time needed to evaluate our options. We will make no further comment at this point.
Additionally, we have obtained a copy of the filing and have detailed the events leading up to Désilets' termination.
Today, Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets made good on his promise to seek legal satisfaction for his termination by Ubisoft. The developer has had a long and tumultuous history with the publisher that will now re-enter the courtroom.
As you may recall, Ubisoft and Désilets had different takes on their most recent parting. Ubisoft stated that the two could not reach a creative compromise and that Désilets departed. Désilets rebutted, stating bluntly that he had been fired and escorted out by guards. Following his departure, Ubisoft dismissed senior producer Francois Bolvin.
According to a filing obtained by La Presse, Désilets is seeking $400,000 from Ubisoft and the rights to purchase 1666. The filing purportedly includes quoted statements from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stating that the executive "loved 1666: Amsterdam and wanted to conduct its development." Apparently, THQ's agreement with Désilets offered the developer creative freedom that Ubisoft was unwilling to grant, leading to the falling out.
This is not the first time Désilets has been in a legal battle with Ubisoft. After his first departure and subsequent hiring by THQ, Ubisoft sued their rival to prevent others from following. Ubisoft lost, but following THQ's bankruptcy, Ubisoft acquired the Montréal studio.
It was unknown whether Désilets would return to his old home, and things looked up when we learned that he would be headed back to Ubisoft. Things have not worked out, his in-progress title, working under the name 1666, is "on hold."
We've reached out to Ubisoft for comment and will update should we learn more.
[Source: La Presse]