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Court Awards Ubisoft Injunction Against THQ To Prevent Talent Poaching

Court Awards Ubisoft Injunction Against THQ To Prevent Talent Poaching

March 31, 2011 | By Kris Graft

Assassin's Creed publisher Ubisoft obtained an injunction against rival publisher THQ from a Quebec Superior Court in an attempt to prevent THQ from hiring away any more key Ubisoft talent, according to media reports.

Ubisoft requested the injunction following THQ's 2010 hiring of Patrice Desilets, former creative director of the multi-million-selling Assassin's Creed franchise, developed at Ubisoft Montreal.

At THQ, Desilets plans to head up a new Montreal-based studio for the publisher, working with at least three other key ex-Ubisoft employees.

Following a report on French language website Rue Frontenac, Ubisoft confirmed to Game Informer, "Ubisoft has filed a request before the Superior Court of Quebec 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 statement continued, "The Superior Court of Quebec 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."

Ubisoft said in June last year that Desilets left the company. The publisher said he had already completed his work on November's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and categorized his departure as "[taking] a creative break from the industry."

According to Rue Frontenac, Desilets earned CDN$1.3 million over the last three years of his employment with the company, and reportedly left behind $600,000 in future bonuses. His non-compete clause with Ubisoft is up in May, when he can officially begin work with THQ.

The court in January had awarded Ubisoft an injunction against THQ and Desilets to prevent them from poaching. But after that ruling, another THQ employee, Adolfo Gomez-Urda -- formerly with Ubisoft -- reportedly approached a Ubisoft employee with the intent of bringing her over to THQ. The latest ruling adds Gomez-Urda to the injunction.

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