Patrice Désilets—creator of Ubisoft’s popular game franchise Assassin’s Creed—was future endeavored from Ubisoft after returning just two months ago. Désilets departed Ubisoft three years ago with the intent of taking a “creative break”, but later joined THQ’s Montreal team. THQ sank last year with Ubisoft snagging the Montreal studio and Désilets returned to Ubisoft where he said it wasn’t particularly easy rejoining the team.
Ubisoft was quick to release a statement when news of Patrice Désilets’ release hit the wire through Polygon, “Unfortunately since the acquisition, the good faith discussion between Patrice and Ubisoft aimed at aligning Patrice’s and the studio’s visions have been inconclusive. As a result, Patrice has left the studio. Our priorities remain with the teams already hard at work on projects in development. They are at the root of Ubisoft Montreal’s past and future successes.”
However, Désilets said things went down differently. In speaking with Kotaku the series creator stated, “Contrary to any statements made earlier today, this morning I was terminated by Ubisoft. I was notified of this termination in person, handed a termination notice and was unceremoniously escorted out of the building by two guards without being able to say goodbye to my team or collect my personal belongings.”
In the same statement Désilets said, “This was not my decision. Ubisoft’s actions are baseless and without merit. I intend to fight Ubisoft vigorously for my rights, for my team, and for my game.”
The game Désilets was working out before being released was 1666. It seems that the game could’ve been another historical fiction title different from the Assassin’s Creed franchise, but will now probably end up as another Assassin’s Creed title granted they still plan to work on it.
There are definitely two sides to this story. On one side Ubisoft could’ve seen Désilets as disagreeable and hard to work with and on the other Désilets didn’t want to do with 1666—which he had been working on with THQ Montreal—what they wanted him to do (probably make it instantly marketable…meaning another Assassin’s Creed) so they removed him.
The outcome was still the same in both scenarios here: Ubisoft has both the game he created before leaving the company and the game he created prior to rejoining. Another thing to consider from Désilets’ side is that he probably wasn’t pleased by how Assassin’ Creed turned out in his absence and wanted nothing to do with it since it wasn’t the same game he had in mind.
It’s like leaving a band because of creative differences and deciding not to return because the band is still not what the artist who left feels it should be. Another way to look at it is: no longer wanting to be involved with a film franchise because it went in a totally different direction and compromised what the original creator/co-creator had in mind. Sure the creator is brought back in to help savage the ship, add ideas, or add name value back to the franchise, but even the creator of the series can see when their creation can be saved.
What is known is that this boils down to creative differences. More on this as the story develops.