Patrice Désilets, the former creative director behind the Assassin's Creed series who left Ubisoft for rivals THQ last year, was not alone in making the move. He brought others with him. So many that THQ has had to go get a court order.
Désilets left Ubisoft in May and announced his new role at THQ in October. In that time, three other men crucial to the success of the Assassin's Creed series - artistic director Alex Drouin, production manager Mark Besner and associate producer Jean-Francois Boivin - left Ubisoft as well.
None of those three said where they were going. One interesting thing, though, was the fact that the three were, along with Désilets, Montreal Canadians season ticket holders. Which made Ubisoft a little suspicious.
That suspicion was justified when it was confirmed the three had joined Désilets at his new THQ Montreal studio, despite this being a breach of his contract, which expressly forbade him from recruiting his former colleagues until a year after his departure from Ubisoft.
As a result of this, Ubisoft has had to go to the courts to ask if, please, THQ can be stopped from recruiting anyone else who was crucial to the development of Assassin's Creed:
Ubisoft has filed a request before the Superior Court of Québec for injunction orders against THQ Inc. in order to have them comply with the non-solicit clause included in Ubisoft Montreal's employee work contracts. The Superior Court of Québec has granted the injunctions to the satisfaction of Ubisoft. This procedure aims to protect Ubisoft Montreal in a breach of contract situation, and to defend the long-term financial and creative health of the studio.
Désilets' non-solicit clause will be up in June, so it'll be interesting to see how many others jump ship when the legal barriers come down.
Employés débauchés: Ubisoft obtient une injonction contre THQ [Rue Frontenac, via Game Informer][pic: Rue Fontenac]