Having departed Ubisoft in 2010 to head up the creative direction at THQ, former Assassin’s Creed creative director Patrice Desilets found himself in familiar (i.e., murky/tenuous/quite possibly awkward) waters when, following THQ’s bankrupcy and full-scale asset sell-off earlier this year, Ubisoft acquired THQ Montreal in January and brought Desilets back under its wing.
Today, the publisher has reportedly fired Desilets from his position at the company, and the renown designer is vowing to fight back hard. “Vigorously,” in fact.
The news first broke this morning when sources close to the matter began informing media outlets that Desilets — who at the time was overseeing development on two games, codenamed 1666 and Underdog — was departing Ubisoft for the second time in his career. Ubisoft soon confirmed the rumors, framing the exit as an amicable failure-to-come-to-terms during “good faith discussions”:
The acquisition of THQ MontrÃ©al in January allowed Ubisoft to welcome 170 experienced developers, including Patrice DÃ©silets, 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 MontrÃ©al’s past and future successes.
But then Desilets fired back. The circumstances, the motives, the courtesies… the level of animosity present in the proceedings appeared in a drastically different light when he issued the following statement:
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.
As of now, neither Ubisoft nor Desilets has commented further on the matter, but based upon latter’s fervid parlance, we suspect it won’t be the last time the two parties go head-to-head.
Like any major company in the industry, Ubisoft — which comprises over 6,900 employees across 28 regional studios — has seen its share of turnover throughout the years, although for it to be so simultaneously heated and high-profile is truly a rarity. Be sure to stick with Game Rant for future updates on the story as it unfolds.
Where do you stand on the current/ongoing turbulence between Patrice Desilets and Ubisoft?
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