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THQ wins Ubisoft poaching case

Judge rules no conflict of interest over THQ's recent hirings

A judge has ruled in THQ's favour in a dispute with Ubisoft over staff poaching claims.

The Assassin's Creed publisher alleged that THQ was poaching staff despite their non-compete contract clauses, and sought an injunction. The judge ruled against this, deciding there was no conflict of interest.

"The Court of Appeal's decision is a tremendous victory for THQ Montreal and all of the creative talent working in the video game industry in Montreal. We are thrilled with the Court's decision in this matter because we believe strongly in an individual's freedom to choose where they want to be employed," said THQ's EVP of business and legal affairs Ed Kaufman.

"Our goal has always been to promote free competition and to allow the many creative talent in the interactive entertainment industry in Montreal to be able to choose where they want to work. We believe the Court of Appeal's decision will promote competition, alleviate people's fears and encourage more talented people to join Patrice and our other creative employees at our state-of-the-art studio in Montreal."

In January THQ's Danny Bilson admitted he was hiring three more staff from Ubisoft.

"I don't think I can talk about the other three people we've already contracted because I wouldn't ... I just know Patrice said, 'I need these three guys.' And I said 'Okay! Whatever you need!'," he admitted.

"We put all of them on retention and got them started on their non-competes [non-compete clauses]. I kind of know what their roles are, but they were the most important people to Patrice. All three of them are Ubi."

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.