Ubisoft and Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Desilets have settled a years-long dispute over 1666 Amsterdam. As part of the agreement, announced today in a press release from Desilets' new game studio Panache Digital Games, the developer has regained the rights to the game from Ubisoft. Under the terms of the agreement, Desilets has agreed to drop his $400,000 lawsuit against Ubisoft.
Going forward, Desilets will have "all creative and business control over the project," according to the statement.
"Putting aside our past differences, Patrice and I are above all interested in the creation of video games and the evolution of this medium of entertainment," Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto CEO Yannis Mallat said. "This agreement is good news for everyone. As we have always said, Patrice is a talented designer and we wish him all the best in the development of his future endeavors."
In his own statement, Desilets said he is happy that he could reach an out-out-court deal with Ubisoft in this case. However, it doesn't sound like any work is being done on 1666 right now or will be soon, as he is instead putting his time and effort into his current project, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.
"I will now devote myself entirely to the development of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey," he said. "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."
Just days ago, Ubisoft filed a new trademark application for 1666, which records show it still holds. If the Ubisoft/Desilets agreement was only reached recently, it's possible the database simply has not updated yet. Asked for more details on this story, a Ubisoft representative pointed GameSpot to Mallat's statement and said it doesn't have any further information to share at this time.
Desilets has not yet laid out his plans for 1666. We'll report back with new information as it becomes available.
Little is known about 1666, which was first revealed through a 2012 trademark application and also mentioned in THQ bankruptcy documents. Ubisoft scooped up the 1666 rights at THQ's bankruptcy auction, paying $2.5 million for not only 1666, but also the THQ Montreal studio and a new game codenamed Underdog.
In 2010, Desilets left Ubisoft to establish THQ Montreal, but became a Ubisoft employee again in 2012 when the company bought the studio. His new path at Ubisoft didn't last very long. In May 2013, just months into his new role, Desilets claimed he was fired by Ubisoft, and went on to sue the company, attempting to reclaim the rights to 1666 in the process.
Ubisoft suspended work on 1666 amid the lawsuit. It is believed that Ubisoft owned the IP up until this announcement.
According to Desilets, 1666 was to be "the new Assassin's Creed." The game would have taken place in Amsterdam and been connected to the painter Rembrandt. Desilets shared what appears to be concept art for the game, which you can see embedded above.