Ubisoft had fired Patrice Desilets last month and the game he was working on, named 1666: Amsterdam, was indefinitely put on hold by the publisher.
He has now sued the Ubisoft for $400,000 and also wants the rights to the game.
When Desilets originally left Ubisoft, he was hired by THQ and was working on a secret project. After the demise of THQ, Ubisoft bought the assets of THQ Montreal, and their Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot expressed interest in the Desilets’ project, which was called only called 1666 and didn’t have any subtitle.
The French source explains that THQ had given a lot of creative freedom to Desilets because they were desperate and Ubisoft didn’t want to do the same thing. The negotiations broke down on May 7th which led to Patrice Desilets’ termination from Ubisoft.
$400,000 sounds like a small sum considering ex-Infinity Ward developers Jason West and Vince Zampella asked for millions from Activision, and it may be likely that both Ubisoft and Desilets may reach an agreement soon.
According to the original contract with Ubisoft, the IP rights to the game was supposed to go back to Desilets in event of a cancellation. By ‘indefinitely postponing’ the game, Ubisoft doesn’t have to give back the rights to him since it’s technically not cancelled.
There’s not much details on 1666: Amsterdam but an outbreak of bubonic plague reportedly happened during that period (1663-1666) in the city.
Update: GameInformer has received an official comment from Ubisoft.
As stated before, the acquisition of THQ Montréal in January allowed Ubisoft to welcome 170 experienced developers to our existing and renowned workforce. Unfortunately, the discussions between Patrice Désilets and Ubisoft aimed at aligning Patrice’s and the studio’s visions were inconclusive. We received Patrice’s legal request and we will take the time needed to evaluate our options. We will make no further comment at this point.
We will keep you updated once we hear more information on this.