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Patrice Desilets leaves Ubisoft again

[Update]: Ex-THQ Montreal head and Assassin's Creed designer says he was fired, will fight Ubisoft for his rights, team, and game

When Ubisoft acquired THQ Montreal earlier this year after the Saints Row publisher went bankrupt, one of the big questions about the pickup was whether studio head Patrice Desilets would go along with it. That question has been answered, as Kotaku has received confirmation that Desilets has parted ways with Ubisoft.

"The acquisition of THQ Montreal in January allowed Ubisoft to welcome 170 experienced developers, including Patrice Desilets, to our existing and renowned workforce," an Ubisoft representative said. "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 Montreal's past and future successes."

That puts an end to Desilets' second stint with Ubisoft, which was much briefer than his first. Desilets' original run at Ubisoft lasted for 12 years, with the final six of those spent working on the Assassin's Creed franchise. Desilets left Ubisoft to found THQ Montreal in 2010, and was shortly thereafter joined by several of his Ubisoft coworkers. That prompted Ubisoft to obtain a court injunction to enforce a non-solicitation clause in Desilets' contract, and a non-compete clause kept him from starting at THQ until mid-2011.

THQ Montreal had been working on a game called 1666 at the time of its acquisition. Ubisoft has not said what the studio has been working on since then.

[UPDATE] Desilets has told Polygon that the split was not his decision. "Contrary to any statements made earlier today, this morning I was terminated by Ubisoft," Desilets told the site. "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."

He added, "Ubisoft's actions are baseless and without merit. I intend to fight Ubisoft vigorously for my rights, for my team and for my game."

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Latest comments (9)

Private Industry 3 years ago
Grabs popcorn.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Private on 8th May 2013 2:26am

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
*sigh* Seems like this happens far too often in this industry concerning well known developers.
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would seem publishers want to focus on the IP, and remove the personality (individual) - so they are free to shlep the property round to third party devs without worrying about "integrity to original vision".

seems while publishing executives remove personality - the media wants to make personalities out of those same executives!

i remember when Atari and Namco (and others) use to ban developers from claiming responsibility for their work on arcade games - claiming it was a corporate effort and no one person should get credit!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 8th May 2013 3:28am

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Show all comments (9)
Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games3 years ago
welcome to the corporate world. a nameless team leader has no extra benefits, doesn't get a cut from the success as a famous designer would, and can be easily replaced.
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T. Elliot Cannon Game Designer 3 years ago
Why would he want to go back there in the first place? Not sure what he expected to happen.
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Neil Alphonso Lead Designer, Splash Damage Ltd3 years ago
I can't help but picture Mr Burns talking about the Sword of Damocles.
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Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer 3 years ago
No Game Developers' Guild... so there's little he can do.
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Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios3 years ago
"...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."

Why do games companies still do this? It's depraved.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Marty Howe on 9th May 2013 4:01am

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Matthew Bennett 3D Engine developer, Sitedesk3 years ago
@T. Elliot Cannon I don't think he ever intended on working for Ubi again, long story short - Desilets worked for Ubisoft for some time, then left after the team finished AC: Brotherhood for what Ubisoft claim was him taking a break from the industry. He then joined THQ, starting a couple of projects with a team with them. THQ then go bankrupt and are sold off piecemeal to pay back the debtors, THQ Montreal were bought out by Ubisoft. So completely by accident he's now working for his old employers again - who as he claims, pretty much throw him out on his butt.

It's kinda sad that this still happens in the industry today. I had thought it was something we had grown out of.
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