THQ in Legal Trouble for Poaching Ubisoft Staff


An injunction has been granted against THQ due to the company’s aggressive poaching of Ubisoft’s workforce.

In June 2010, longtime Ubisoft employee and creative director of Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia Patrice Désilets left the company for an unspecified reason. Four months later, Désilets revealed he’d be leading his own team at THQ Montreal, an Ubisoft competitor. Désilets’ move appeared to be contractually legal, but multiple hires moving to his team from Ubisoft have landed THQ in hot water with the Canadian legal system.

Ubisoft confirmed to Game Informer that it was granted an injunction against THQ due to the fact that THQ hasn’t been complying with the non-solicit clauses in the contracts of Ubisoft Montreal’s employees. After Désilets departure from Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed artistic director Alex Drouin, production manager Mark Besner, and associate producer Jean-Francois Boivin also mysteriously resigned from Ubisoft, a trio that were close enough to Désilets to share Montreal Canadiens season tickets. It was later revealed that the three were improperly hired by THQ Montreal, which a court recognized when it granted a first injunction against THQ at the request of Ubisoft.

Still, THQ persisted, and had former Ubisoft employee Adolfo Gomez-Urda approach current Ubisoft employee Margherita Seconnino with an offer to work at THQ with as much as a 60% raise. In light of this persistence, the Superior Court of Québec has granted a second injunction to prevent THQ from continuing on with its actions. The injunction now involves Gomez-Urda, Désilets, and THQ.

Ubisoft Montreal says that it’s trying to protect its “long-term financial and creative health.” Maybe these kinds of moves are just what go on in the corporate world, but this situation makes it seem like there’s some serious videogame employee espionage going on in Montreal. Assassin’s Creed must have really rubbed off on its creators.

Source: Game Informer

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