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Désilets suing Ubisoft, wants 1666: Amsterdam rights

Saturday, 8th June 2013 20:48 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Patrice Désilets has filed a lawsuit against Ubisoft in which he is seeking $400,000 and the rights to purchase 1666, which was apparently subtitled Amsterdam.

According to the filing obtained by Canadian news outlet La Presse, the filing includes statements from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot claiming he “loved 1666: Amsterdam,” and was interested in conducting its development.

THQ’s initial agreement with Désilets offered him creative freedom on the title, which Ubisoft was unwilling to grant – a claim which came about when the latter fired Désilets in May.

Désilets’ contract with THQ specified that IP rights revert to him should the game become cancelled. Also in the filing, quotes attributed to Guillemot claim “the desperate” agreement between THQ and Désilets” provided “too much creative freedom” which would lead to Ubisoft having “difficulty controlling Désilets.”

Game Informer has the complete breakdown of the legal back and forth so far.

Back in May, Ubisoft stated the acquisition of THQ Montréal in January allowed it to “welcome 170 experienced developers, including Patrice Désilets,” and that unfortunately, “good faith discussions between Patrice and Ubisoft aimed at aligning Patrice’s and the studio’s visions,” became inconclusive.

Désilets is asking for the following in his suit, per Game Informer:

  • Reimbursement of all expenses through May 7, 2013 (totaling $35,000)
  • Severance in the amount of $250,000
  • Continuation of insurance through May 6, 2014
  • Relocation and job search fees in the amount of $25,000
  • Damages in the amount of $100,000 for misrepresenting the facts of the termination (Ubisoft stated that Désilets departed)

He is also seeking to instill the “turnaround right” clause which would grant him the rights to 1666: Amsterdam should it be canceled.

Ubisoft has since put development of the game on “hold”.

Ubisoft is of the belief the THQ agreement with Désilets has been terminated, and therefore he cannot exercise the turnaround right.

With the new subtitle outed on the game, we can only assume it possibly had something to do with, or took place during the outbreak of bubonic plague from 1663 to 1666 in the city.

The game is described as an “historical RPG with a twist.”

Thanks, Game Informer

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22 Comments

  1. sidspyker

    No doubt they wanted to casualize it….

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Yoshi

    Unfortunately everything they did though was legal :/

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Sini

    “possibly had something to do with, or took place during the outbreak of bubonic plague from 1663 to 1666 in the city.”

    Will buy for ps4.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. FrankWhite

    Hoping he gets the rights to the game, sounds like some weird contracts are involved. It really depends on if Ubi has to honor the terms of the contracts that they bought from THQ.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Edo

    Give them hell!!

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Froseidon

    @4 Technically, they have honoured it. They haven’t cancelled development, just halted it, so the rights don’t go back to Désilets.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. DSB

    Best of luck Patrice. Death to the Ubisurper!

    #7 1 year ago
  8. The_Red

    These are some lovely days we’re having…

    Bethesda ruins Prey 2 and sabotages its teeam.
    Ubisoft loses Patrice, buys them back and fires him while cancelling his game.
    Trendy games goes for sub-18 year old robot girls.

    What’s next?
    -

    I hope Patrice wins the case and gets to finish the work on 1666.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Sadismek

    Though I enjoy some of Ubi’s franchise, I support Patrice’s decision. You show ‘em, man!

    #9 1 year ago
  10. The_Red

    “Désilets’ contract specified that IP rights revert to him should the game become cancelled”

    To get around this, Ubi put the game on “indefinite hold” instead of cancellation to avoid giving him the rights back. Seriously, FUCK UBI.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Froseidon

    @10 – I said so ;)

    #11 1 year ago
  12. The_Red

    @11
    My bad :) I was just so angry about this. I mean, if Ubi doesn’t want the game (Which they clearly don’t) why not give it to him unless they want to fuck with the guy who brought them Assassin’s Creed and Sands of Time?

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Froseidon

    @12 – I don’t think its the fact they don’t want the game. They want the game, just they thought Désilets was the guy for it but they couldn’t make ends meet. Its more they want to cling to the game and prosper from it themselves instead of having to work in a strained relationship with Désilets. Either way, its slightly dodgy business.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. ArcticMonkey

    “The game is described as an “historical RPG with a twist.”

    Lemme guess, the twist is that the plague infecting the population also causes them to turn into zombies!!

    Oh, and to help the player defeat them we have “Special eye” vision that can detect them through walls.

    Despite my post, the actual game sounded intriguing. Desilets must be one frustrated man..

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Stephany Nunneley

    Moved up the page a bit so it wouldn’t get lost, esp since Game Informer loaded all the papers filed – which I linked to above.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. The_Red

    @13
    I don’t know. If they really wanted the IP, they could have easily fired Patrice without putting the game on hold. Just change the design team and do what you want with it (Just like Bethesda with Prey 2).

    #16 1 year ago
  17. sh4dow

    Insurance? Why? What insurance could Canadian companies possibly give to employees, considering Canada has universal health care?

    #17 1 year ago
  18. YoungZer0

    I hope he’s successful.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. monkeygourmet

    Godspeed Patrice! :)

    #19 1 year ago
  20. salarta

    This is actually the reason I’m not buying or playing any Ubisoft stuff anymore. It may be legal, but being legal doesn’t make it right.

    I understand that sometimes you don’t want someone to be able to go completely insane and do absolutely anything they want. That’s why agreements are made in advance. But this agreement was already made, and on top of it, the people at Ubisoft behind this decision are blatantly trying to fuck with Desilets by refusing to properly cancel the game so he can get the rights back and take it elsewhere or make it himself.

    Whoever made the decision to fire Desilets and then try to keep Desilets’ own IP away from him is a petty asshole, and through his or her petty assholishness they have guaranteed a loss of sales and very likely a loss of potential talent in the future to boot. Who’s really going to feel comfortable working at a company that will fire you then pull legal loophole bullshit just to rub it in? I don’t care if Desilets walked in and shat on the guy’s desk, this is still poor behavior on the part of so-called professionals.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Beta

    Good man, hope it works out for him.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. sh4dow

    @20

    Indeed, indeed…
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsass_hedonism-skunk-anansie_music

    #22 1 year ago

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