Ubisoft Gets an Injunction Against THQ For Poaching Talent
Written Thursday, March 31, 2011 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
Following the somewhat abrupt departure of Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets and several other key members that now make up part of the newly formed THQ Montreal studio, Ubisoft has acquired an injunction against THQ to prevent it from poaching further recruits from its ranks.
"Ubisoft has filed a request before the Superior Court of Québec for injunction orders against THQ Inc. in order to have them comply with the non-solicit clause included in Ubisoft Montreal’s employee work contracts. The Superior Court of Québec has granted the injunctions to the satisfaction of Ubisoft. This procedure aims to protect Ubisoft Montreal in a breach of contract situation, and to defend the long-term financial and creative health of the studio."
Assassin's Creed artistic director Alex Drouin, production manager Mark Besner, and associate producer Jean-Francois Boivin also suddenly decided to leave Ubisoft, citing various reasons. THQ then employed the three apparently at the behest of Désilets.
"I don't think I can talk about the other three people we've already contracted because I wouldn't … I just know Patrice said, 'I need these three guys.' And I said 'Okay! Whatever you need!'" said THQ's Danny Bilson. "We put all of them on retention and got them started on their non-compete [clauses]. I kind of know what their roles are, but they were the most important people to Patrice. All three of them are Ubi."
Bilson's above statement means that Désilets involvement in recruiting these ex-Ubisoft members puts him breach of his contract, specifically the non-compete clause that prevents Désilets from recruiting staff from his former employer for up to one year.
Upon presenting the case to a judge, Ubisoft obtained an injunction against THQ and Patrice Désilets on January 26th, 2011, but moves were still being made to snap up Ubisoft staff to join THQ Montreal, which has led to the issuing of this latest injunction against Désilets and THQ.