The Messy State of 1666: Desilets Files Against Ubisoft

In the words of famed ring announcer, Michael Buffer: “Lets Get Ready To Rumble!”

In case you didn’t know, former Assassin’s Creed creative director and beard aficionado Patrice Desilets was let go a few weeks ago by Ubisoft after THQ Montreal was purchased in the great THQ auction earlier this year. Oddly enough, he left Ubisoft for THQ and his development studio was eventually purchased by Ubisoft in the auction, bringing him back into the fold. From the sounds of it, it wasn’t a happy homecoming. Desilets called his termination without merit and has filed a lawsuit against the French company seeking damages, unpaid wages, and intellectual control of the game he was working on, 1666. Something he promised to do upon being let go. Ubisoft has since indefinitely suspended development on the title, preventing Desilets from regaining control if it was canceled. I’d guess that won’t happen for that very reason.

According to a recent article by Game Informer, Desilets met with Ubisoft executives Yves Guillemot and Yannis Mallat, but the trio could not agree on how much control Desilets should have. It would appear based on these reports that Ubisoft wanted to reduce the amount of control that THQ had given Desilets. Obviously, that didn’t sit well and the rift opened up eventually leading to the split.

Ubisoft of course denies these events and the question of the failed delivery of a gameplay prototype has made the rounds.  Desilets has gone on record saying the prototype was delivered on time as the contract stated.  If you’re interested in reading the court filing, you can do so here.

Ultimately, I hope this issue can be resolved for both sides as I’m a fan of both Patrice and Ubisoft. I also hope that work can continue on 1666 at some point as I’d have to imagine it would be a historical action title seeing as Patrice was a big part of AC 1 and 2. I’d love to hear more about it and get a sense of what he and his team had been working on.

Buckle up folks, this one is primed to get pretty messy.

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