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When defunct publisher THQ collapsed, it looked like one of the more interesting games it was working on would get lost forever. But its original creator has rescued it.
Assassin’s Creed producer Patrice Désilets has worked out a deal with publisher Ubisoft to get back the rights to his unfinished historical action game 1666. This also marks the end of the legal battle between the two parties that began when Ubisoft allegedly fired Désilets after purchasing 1666 (and the studio making it) during a THQ asset auction in 2013. Ubisoft ended development on 1666 a week after parting with Désilets, and that led the ousted producer to promise legal action to get it back.
Now, all of that is over as Ubisoft has agreed to give all “creative and business control” over 1666 to Désilets.
We don’t now much about 1666, but it has the subtitle “Amsterdam,” and Ubisoft paid $2.5 million for the property and the THQ Montreal team (which never released a game) during the 2013 auction. For comparison, Ubisoft also purchased the right to make South Park games at the same time for $3.27 million. Considering Désilets is one of the people primarily responsible for turning Assassin’s Creed into one of the largest franchises in the $99.6 billion gaming industry, 1666 could have a lot of potential.
Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.
— Patrice Desilets (@PatriceDez) April 25, 2016
“Putting aside our past differences, Patrice and I are above all interested in the creation of videogames and the evolution of this medium of entertainment,” Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto chief executive Yannis Mallat said in a canned statement. “This agreement is good news for everyone. Ubisoft’s creative teams are currently working on innovative projects that will mark our industry for years to come. This is precisely where we want to focus our energy: on our teams, to continue what we have been building in Quebec for nearly 20 years. As we have always said, Patrice is a talented designer, and we wish him all the best in the development of his future endeavors.”
Désilets also provided a statement alongside Ubisoft where he confirmed that he does not plan to immediately go back to working on 1666. Instead, he’s going to continue production of the game he announced with his new studio, Panache Digital Games — Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.
“I’m glad Ubisoft and I were able to come to an agreement that will allow me to obtain the rights to project 1666 Amsterdam,” he said. “I will now devote myself entirely to the development of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, my next game with Panache Digital Games. This is what matters most to me today: making the best games and showing the world the creative talent of Quebecers. I also wish every success to the Ubisoft teams.”
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