Assassin's Creed creator sues Ubisoft

Patrice Desilets files suit against publisher, seeking $400,000 and rights to purchase 1666 franchise.

After promising legal action against Ubisoft following his termination from the company last month, Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets has sued the French publisher.

La Presse (via Game Informer) has obtained a filing today that states Désilets is suing Ubisoft for $400,000 and the rights to purchase 1666: Amsterdam.

As part of an agreement with former publisher THQ, Désilets was reportedly given full creative control of the game. However, when Ubisoft purchased the the project--and the studio itself--in January, this control was supposedly taken away, leading to the fallout.

An Ubisoft representative confirmed with Game Informer that the company has received Désilets' "legal request" and said that it is currently evaluating options about how to respond.

"As stated before, the acquisition of THQ Montréal in January allowed Ubisoft to welcome 170 experienced developers to our existing and renowned workforce. Unfortunately, the discussions between Patrice Désilets and Ubisoft aimed at aligning Patrice’s and the studio’s visions were inconclusive," the statement reads. "We received Patrice’s legal request and we will take the time needed to evaluate our options. We will make no further comment at this point."

Desilets claimed last month that Ubisoft fired him without merit. In a statement sent to media, he alleged wrongdoing on the part of Ubisoft and said he planned to fight back.

"This was not my decision," 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."

Ubisoft also reportedly fired producer Jean-François Boivin.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed last month during a financial call that development on 1666 had been suspended.

"After more than two months of discussions with [Desilets], we couldn't align our vision both on project development and team management," Guillemot said. "So consequently our collaboration has ended, and we have suspended 1666 for an undisclosed period of time."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

448 comments
HalcyonScarlet
HalcyonScarlet

This isn't well written, it's confusing. I had to go to Wikipedia to understand it. Patrice Désilets, created Assassins Creed, but left Ubisoft in 2010. He joined THQ in 2011, and basically Ubisoft bought THQ Montreal and allegedly screwed Patrice Désilets over, which is what this suit is about.

But its written like, Assassins Creed (which is a Ubisoft game) creator gets fired from Ubisoft, but this somehow involves THQ because he came from there? WTF

Corrzaa
Corrzaa

After Revolations I was Finished AC .. There not even following their own plot .. With going so many 100 year to the future or past .. Just getting old ..

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

Well, not a problem for me. Already made the decision not to buy any further AC titles.

csward
csward

Ubisoft is the new E.A. 

What a cruel twist of fate to be bought out and fired by your former employer. Can't have too much freedom and creativity; the machine must keep spitting out new AC every year! 

skeet1964
skeet1964

Being on the outside and not knowing all the details, need to be cautious and reserve judgment.  However, at face value, I think Desilets has a tough hill to climb.  Unfortunately, I think all his rights to 1666 disappeared when Ubisoft bought it, sorry, but that is just the way it works.  His creative control agreement was with THQ, not Ubisoft, and THQ is no longer, so....  Being fired without merit and baseless just isn't that common.  Desilets may not agree with their reasons, but that doesn't mean they didn't have reasons.  Even if the reason was that they couldn't agree and get along, that is still a reason and not baseless and without merit.  I feel for Desilets, but I think his legal action is being fueled by anger, not logical reason.

blackothh
blackothh

I really dont care, can we take this silly story off of "top story" and put up something E3 related?

Anstark
Anstark

good job ubisoft goood fucking job , i think EA and  activision will be proud -_- 

Scarshi
Scarshi

I hope he succeeds. He isn't asking for millions and still wants to make great games. Call it a kickstarter.

McGregor
McGregor

As lawsuits of this caliber go, this isn't that bad. He's asking for the ability to buy the game, plus 400k; probably to use it as a bargaining chip for the game purchase. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a case, especially if the contract wording rights too the game... Ubisoft did buy the company, current contracts and all.

gamergath
gamergath

I knew this wasn't going to END well.

Dirty_11
Dirty_11

who gives a shit really.


zeeshan810
zeeshan810

His salary was $250,000 (per year), that's $20,833 per month! :o 

Busta
Busta

Not going to pretend to know any of this legal stuff.  But if he had a contract with the company, then they got bought out.  The original or the Ubi should have come to some sort of  agreement before just letting him go.  Buy it out or some other type of compensation.  He'll get something.  (imo)

hadlee73
hadlee73

In my country court proceedings are for when someone has done something illegal. As far as I can see Ubisoft haven't done anything of the sort. Much will depend on what his contract with THQ (which may have carried over after the purchase) actually said.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

They probably did this because if Assassin's Creed actually had any competition, they might have to actually improve the game.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

However you slice it, that's some shitty luck right there. Imagine leaving a company to work at another company and start fresh. Then THAT company goes under only to be bought out by the company you just left and then get fired on top of that?

madgame23
madgame23

when Ubisoft acquired THQ Montreal, they took on every contract and agreement that they had in the acquisition.  So in essence, as long as the agreement was written and not verbal, he has a case against Ubisoft.  I feel that Ubisoft didn't wish to pursue that game because the timeframe and probably the gameplay would be too similar to Assassin's Creed so they canned it, I mean you have Black Flag coming out and several games, I the series, have occurred back in time.  He probably fought to maintain it, under both his contract and the original agreement, and they fought back and decided to remove him.  As such his case has merit and should not be taken lightly.  However, if his actions were having a detrimental effect on productivity then they had merit in firing him but he still had a contract and should still be paid for it.

91210user
91210user

I'm not sure who got comfortable, Him or Ubisoft! Maybe he's just buying some time or going on a worker man rampage and blaming people like it's everyone's business!

pakhair
pakhair

BTW WTH is 1666 that Ubi canceled? (I mean gameplay wise). I think they (UBI) have every right to cancel a project which they bought, there is nothing unlawful but I think they should sell it if they don't intend to release the game

pakhair
pakhair

Wish him luck BUT I think he is gonna loose, his lawsuit seems weak unless there are some hidden points in his contract, which grant him property over the product, in that case he might sue them.  And if he (himself) has no share in IP then the case has no merit.

It's somewhat Brutal Legend all over again although there is some firing involved

toddx77
toddx77

I love Assassins Creed but kind of feel bad now for wanting to buy Assassins Creed IV because of what Ubisoft has done to this guy.  

anthony7648
anthony7648

It seemed highly likely for Ubisoft to turn 1666 into another AC game which went against Patrice's wishes. I support him 110%.

Zloth2
Zloth2

So what ever happened to that lawsuit regarding AC's story?  Some author wrote a story strikingly similar to AC's story just a few years before the game released.  Should I assume "settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of money and no admission of wrongdoing?"

csward
csward

@skeet1964 It's A LOT harder to get fired in France than the U.S. It's part of the reason their employment is so high. You can't be fired for any reason at any time there, ect.

McGregor
McGregor

@zeeshan810 While working hard is how this should work, and a lot of time it will; the reality is that too many people become successful by who they know, not what they know.

the_big_doggg
the_big_doggg

@zeeshan810

Yeah its called being successful, happens to people who work hard instead of complaining.

Bsgifford05
Bsgifford05

@hadlee73 This will be handled in civil court.  Basically if you feel you have a right to something and enough money to "buy the time" in court to argue your point you can get a legal ruling on a lot of non-criminal issues.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

@hadlee73 Well welcome to America! Where people can actually sue a company in court (and win) for spilling hot coffee in their own lap when they knew it was hot to begin with! America, setting a new standard for stupidity every day!

McGregor
McGregor

@madgame23 Another thing to consider is if the purchasing agreement included a clause the rendered current contracts void. I'm not sure if it's possible to void a contract, but since THQ is no longer a company, a THQ contract technically was already void, since there isn't a party to enforce one side of it.

If Désilets actually owned the IP, and was publishing through THQ, then this might be a different story. Judging by him trying to purchase rights to the game, I'd say he didn't own it. I do wonder if the creative ideas behind the game are his, and he brought them to THQ, this could be interesting. Ultimately, the company should let him buy the IP to avoid the courtroom. If the game is a direct competitor for AC, then they should definitely sell it. Competition leads to innovation.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@toddx77 After what happened to the series after AC2 you should feel bad you bought any of them after that!

skeet1964
skeet1964

@csward @skeet1964 Interesting to know, but wasn't he employed in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Since it is a French company though, do the same laws apply in Canada?

ReginaldSpanke
ReginaldSpanke

@AggrandizedUser @Dirty_11 Nguhuehehehaha! Good one sir! You have thoroughly brought my whiskers to a reverse arc and my snickers into mighty harhars! Good show!

the_big_doggg
the_big_doggg

@McGregor 

Nobody said the world was fair son. Sick of you libtards and you cynical nihilism BS.

ReginaldSpanke
ReginaldSpanke

@the_big_doggg @zeeshan810 Nguhahaha! My good sir, good money comes from connections and who can sell the best lie! Nghuahah! The young boys are always the most naive! Thinking the world is fair and just heughaha. Good day young master! Don't be so gullible, it can land you in some hot water!

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@Kravyn81 @hadlee73 Actually the whole hot coffee in the lap thing has been blown way out of proportion, McDonald's deserved to lose their *** on that one.

the_big_doggg
the_big_doggg

@Kravyn81 

Actually its in France. Next time try reading the article before you rant.