Almost three years after Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Désilets announced that he planned to sue his former employer Ubisoft for the rights to 1666: Amsterdam, a resolution has been reached and Désilets will finally regain control of the project he was working on at THQ Montreal before the studio was swallowed up by The Great THQ Collapse of 2013.
So, like, yay and stuff! If you just read all that and are deeply confused by what just happened, there’s a more detailed backstory below.
Turn back the clock to 2010. Renowned game designer Patrice Désilets leaves Ubisoft to join the circus. In 2011, the circus makes its final farewell stop and Désilets returns to game development, shacking up with THQ at their freshly-formed Montreal studio. He begins work on a game called 1666: Amsterdam. Skip forward to early 2013 and THQ goes belly up. Ubisoft decides to buy THQ Montreal, thereby effectively re-hiring Désilets and making things especially awkward at the company’s team-building outings. In May of 2013, Désilets is fired and development of 1666: Amsterdam is “suspended”, but in June he vows to sue Ubisoft for the rights to 1666: Amsterdam. The following year, Désilets founds Panache Digital Games and a few months later he and his team announce their first game: Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.
It’s now 2016, in case you’re unaware. Désilets has finally reclaimed the rights to the game he started working on all those years ago, and will withdraw his case from the Superior Court of Quebec. “I’m glad Ubisoft and I were able to come to an agreement that will allow me to obtain the rights to project 1666 Amsterdam,” says a statement made by Désilets. “I will now devote myself entirely to the development of Ancestors: the Humankind Odyssey, my next game with Panache Digital Games. This is what matters most to me today: making the best games and showing the world the creative talent of Quebecers. I also wish every success to the Ubisoft teams.”
Thankfully, it seems there aren’t any hard feelings between Désilets and Ubisoft. “Putting aside our past differences, Patrice and I are above all interested in the creation of videogames and the evolution of this medium of entertainment,” said Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto CEO Yannis Mallat.
“This agreement is good news for everyone. Ubisoft’s creative teams are currently working on innovative projects that will mark our industry for years to come. This is precisely where we want to focus our energy, on our teams, to continue what we have been building in Quebec for nearly 20 years. As we have always said, Patrice is a talented designer and we wish him all the best in the development of his future endeavours.”