"I'm not being bullied; I'm going to fight, and we'll see how it goes."
- Former Assassin's Creed creative director Patrice Desilets
In 2010, Assassin's Creed creative director Patrice Desilets left Ubisoft to work on a game called 1666 for THQ, at its then-new Montreal studio. But THQ went out of business -- and Ubisoft acquired its Montreal shop. That brought him back into the fold -- but not for long: He was fired in 2013, and soon after filed suit against his former employer.
In an extensive profile in the July 2015 issue of Game Informer, Desilets tells his side of the story, offering up a tale of uncooperative executives scuppering forward motion with 1666 before ultimately terminating him.
Desilets recounts the tale of the moment he decided to fight his legal battle against his former employer: "How do I want to move forward in my life? Let's forget the career part of things. Do I want to be the guy who bent over or not?" he asked his girlfriend.
Ubisoft's part in the article is much slimmer; in a sidebar, the company offers a short statement on the issue, calling his litigation "baseless"; Game Informer says the company declined interviews due to the pending legal case.
Ultimately, the Game Informer story implies that Ubisoft acted in bad faith, by not trusting in Desilets, who had worked out an unprecented deal for creative freedom with THQ, which Ubisoft inherited -- despite ample evidence, according to Desilets, that development on 1666 had progressed satisfactorily. Desilets also alleges that Ubisoft fired producer J.F. Boivin "because he was a good friend of mine, basically."
For his part, Desilets has already moved on to found his own studio, Panache Digital Games, along with Boivin -- where the pair are working on Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.
But Desilets hasn't completely moved on. When it comes to the lawsuit -- and 1666, which he wishes to recover the rights to -- he tells Game Informer: "I don't care if it takes 18 years. I'll be freaking old, but maybe I'll do the game anyhow."