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Patrice Désilets starts at THQ Montreal

Former Assassin's Creed creative director to head up new team at THQ's Montreal studio.

Former Ubisoft creative director Patrice Désilets has officially started work at THQ's Montreal super-studio.

The new unit is a significant endeavour for the publisher, which hopes to take advantage of the benefits of working in the creative hub of Montreal, as well as those of Canada in general.

"The creative freedom that THQ gives its artists and developers -- and their willingness to make games that truly reflect an artistic vision - really drew me to THQ," said Désilets in a statement. "I plan to build an incredibly talented team at THQ, and am very anxious to get started on creating a new project."

Désilets is principally known for his work on the Assassin's Creed franchise, but left Ubisoft Montreal in June last year for a "creative break from the industry." THQ initially hired him in October 2010, but he was bound by a non-compete clause in his contract until May this year.

"Simply put, we can't wait for Patrice to join THQ," said THQ executive vice president Danny Bilson in October. "Patrice brings a passion for games rich with action-packed sequences, gripping characters and cinematic flair, and we're all looking forward to having him and his newly formed team develop an all new franchise with us."

Three other Ubisoft employees are known to be joining Désilets - Assassin's Creed artistic director Alex Drouin, associate producer Jean-Francois Boivin, and production manager Mark Besner - but Ubisoft was awarded an injunction in March to prevent THQ from soliciting any more of its talent.

Désilets arrives at THQ mere days after the publisher confirmed that it was closing Homefront developer Kaos Studios and THQ Digital Warrington. Employees from both studios have been invited to apply for jobs at THQ's offices in Montreal, Vancouver and Austin.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.