Remember how horribly mistreated Désilets was – how he left Ubisoft for THQ, then ended up back at Ubisoft when they bought THQ, where they eventually fired him again? Well, now he’s following the great (North) American pastime – he’s suing!
I feel quite bad for the guy. Since THQ was acquired by Ubisoft, he has been trying to come to an understanding about 1666: Amsterdam, which apparently is his pet project. According to gameinformer,
Communication started to break down in mid-march, after Désilets had requested revisiting his contract with THQ (which had been assumed by Ubisoft). One of the key revisions was a request for Ubisoft to either acknowledge that the project was on track via acceptance that an “acceptable prototype” had been provided or waiver of the related clause allowing termination for failure to deliver. This culminated with a rejection of this request and an email from Ubisoft’s entertainment lawyer stating, “Ubisoft can develop and publish 1666 with Patrice Désilets or without him.”
Désilets was fired at the beginning of May, and has now filed suit against Ubisoft. He is asking for a total of $400k for severance, insurance, relocation costs and damages. However, I think the main thing (for him) is:
Additionally, Désilets seeks to exercise the “turnaround right” clause that would give him the rights to 1666: Amsterdam should it be canceled. Ubisoft has instead used the term ‘on hold.” Also, since Ubisoft has declared its belief that the THQ agreement has been terminated, Désilets cannot exercise the turnaround right at this time.
Intellectual property is such a tricky thing. Developers want to sign on with big companies so that they will have the resources to realize their dreams, yet they face the risk of losing the rights to those dreams! I really can’t help but feel sorry for Désilets. I hope that 1666: Amsterdam is worth all his trouble and heartache, though. Also, considering what Ubisoft has done to Désilets’ previous IP (Assassin’s Creed) without him, I don’t want to even imagine how they could ruin his original ideas!
Last Updated: June 10, 2013