Patrice Desilets, the creative director and designer behind Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series and the Prince of Persia Sands of Time trilogy, was fired from Ubisoft today. While Ubisoft originally announced that Desilets and the company parted ways amicably, Desilets paints a different story, saying he was forcibly removed from his job.
Speaking to Polygon, Desilets made it clear that his departure from Ubisoft was anything but voluntary. “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,” Desilets told Polygon, adding “This was not my decision.”
Desilets says he plans to fight for “my rights, for my team and for my game.” He doesn’t say it specifically, but his words strongly imply that he’s planning to take legal action against his former employer.
Desilets originally quit Ubisoft in 2010, shortly before the release of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, so that he could work on an original IP with THQ. Following THQ’s bankruptcy earlier this year, Desilet’s team and the rights to their projects were sold to Ubisoft. At the time of THQ’s bankruptcy, Desilets and his team were working on a game entitled “1666.” Despite being in development for a few years now, not much is known about “1666,” though some have theorized that elements of the game may have been worked into the upcoming Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
This is definitely bad news for fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise: while I love the series (AC2 is one of the my favorite games of this generation,) there’s no denying that quality of each new release has been declining ever since Desilets originally quit the team in 2010, and with his recent return to Ubisoft, I was hopefully that Black Flag would get the series back on track. With his work on the AC and Prince of Persia series’, Desilets has proven himself to be a talented game designer, and I can’t help but feel that Ubisoft’s decision to fire him is a massive mistake.