Despite Ubisoft's efforts to prevent THQ from hiring some of its former talent, a Quebec appeals court has struck down the company's injunction and has ruled in favor of THQ.
With this injunction dismissed, THQ can now freely hire former Ubisoft employees without fear of legal repercussions. This is especially notable, since the company has clashed with Ubisoft since hiring Assassin's Creed
creator Patrice Desilets in 2010.
Following Desilets' move, Ubisoft filed an injunction
against THQ, claiming that non-compete clauses prevented the publisher from poaching more Ubisoft talent. The Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal has since ruled, however, that such clauses do not prevent THQ from hiring staff from Ubisoft, since its hiring practices were "neither illicit nor disloyal."
Under this new ruling, THQ is free to hire former employees of competing developers, so long as its recruitment efforts don't amount to "unfair competition."
"The Court of Appeal’s decision is a tremendous victory for THQ Montreal and all of the creative talent working in the video game industry in Montreal. We are thrilled with the Court’s decision in this matter because we believe strongly in an individual’s freedom to choose where they want to be employed,” said Ed Kaufman, THQ's executive vice president of business and legal affairs.
"Our goal has always been to promote free competition and to allow the many creative talent in the interactive entertainment industry in Montreal to be able to choose where they want to work. We believe the Court of Appeal’s decision will promote competition, alleviate people’s fears and encourage more talented people to join Patrice and our other creative employees at our state-of-the-art studio in Montreal.”