The creative director of the original Assassin’s Creed has once again left Ubisoft, but this time Patrice Désilets has said that he was fired and aims to fight back.
Désilets originally worked at Ubisoft for 12 years, notably helping create the AC franchise, but left to join THQ and run his own studio, THQ Montreal, in 2010. Ubisoft then obtained a court injunction to enforce a non-solicitation clause in Désilets’ contract, with the non-compete clause keeping him from starting at THQ until mid-2011. Finally, in 2011, Désilets began working on a title called 1666 for THQ. Then, at the end of 2012, THQ declared bankruptcy leading to Ubisoft buying THQ Montreal and 1666 in January. Patrice Désilets was back with Ubisoft, it seemed, but now the publisher has told the press:
The acquisition of THQ Montréal in January allowed Ubisoft to welcome 170 experienced developers, including Patrice Désilets, to our existing and renowned workforce. 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.
While Ubisoft’s statement makes the departure sound mutually agreed, Désilets sent the following statement to Polygon:
Contrary to any statements made earlier today, this morning I was terminated by Ubisoft. 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.
Be sure to stick to PSLS as the story develops, and let us know what you think of the publisher’s actions in the comments below.