One of the masterminds behind of widely popular gaming franchise Assassin’s Creed, Patrice Desilets, has sued publisher Ubisoft for wrongful termination, after being fired last month.
Desilets and his legal representatives claim the decision was abusive and without merit, but Ubisoft rejects the allegations and insists that it was the Assassin’s Creed creator who violated his contract by falling behind on a new game prototype.
The bone of contention is Desilets’ game 1666: Amsterdam. The game was bought by Ubisoft from previous developer THQ, which had given Desilets full creative freedom and control over the title. Ubisoft was reportedly unhappy with this arrangement and moved to limit some of Desilets’ creative freedom, according to the developer’s court filing, obtained by Game Informer.
Desilets claims that when he refused the new terms, Ubisoft terminated his contract. Reports say producer Jean-Francois Bovin was also fired. In the lawsuit, Desilets is seeking a total of $400,000 in damages, unpaid wage and severance, along with full intellectual property rights over 1666: Amsterdam.
Ubisoft, on the other hand, insists that Desilets was fired because he did not respect the terms of his contract. The French publisher says the developer failed to create a prototype of the new game on time and in line with expectations. Desilets, in turn, denies the publisher’s comments and says the prototype was delivered on schedule.
Desilets said in a press statement that he will not give up on the lawsuit as he plans on fighting Ubisoft for his rights and game and for the rights of his team. Ubisoft too said they intend to address the claims in court and not go for a settlement. In the meantime, the publisher has suspended development of 1666: Amsterdam indefinitely, which is likely to make it harder for Desilets to get his game back.
Assassin’s Creed is one of the most successful franchises for Ubisoft, selling millions of copies and expanding to include games for multiple platforms, comic books, novels and even a feature film adaptation which is currently in the works. The next installment of the franchise, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is scheduled to be released October 29 this year.
[Image via HDWallpapers]