For those of you who don’t know Patrice Desilets, I have two names for you: Assassin’s Creed and the modern Prince of Persia. These are the two major franchises that Desilets had started during his time at Ubisoft. He’s had quite a lot of success with games, so it’s quite surprising just how Ubisoft has treated him.
Desilets left Ubi in 2010 in what is described as “[taking] a creative break from the industry”. He then shifted to THQ’s Montreal studio where he was working on two projects—1666 and Underdog. However, the publisher soon went bankrupt, and Ubisoft had picked up the studio and its assets at an auction soon afterwards. Desilets found himself back at the company that apparently hated him.
This was confirmed by reports today that Ubisoft had terminated the developer. The publisher stated that there were “good faith discussions…aligning Patrice’s and the studio’s visions have been inconclusive.”
Desilets, however, tells a completely different story. He has angrily said that he was terminated by the company, adding that this was done in person and that he was “unceremoniously escorted out of the building by two guards without being able to say goodbye to my team or collect my personal belongings.”
That sounds like a poisonous relationship to me. Desilets adds that he intends to fight Ubisoft regarding his termination and his game and that he will “survive”.
This whole situation sounds strange to me. Desilets spearheaded two of the most successful franchises Ubisoft has ever seen. Both of these series sold millions of copies and introduced memorable characters with strong gameplay and graphics. It’s strange that they’d terminate such a valuable asset to their team in such a rash manner.