It's an odd little tale. Patrice Désilets leaves Ubisoft to develop new game at THQ Montreal. THQ goes under and Ubisoft buys his studio. Désilets gets fired from Ubisoft, project ends up shelved "indefinitely."
Which leaves the mysterious 1666 up the proverbial creek without a director, and perhaps put on hold to stop the IP rights from reverting back to its creator.
“After more than two months of discussion with [Désilets], we couldn’t align our vision both on project development and team management, so consequently our collaboration has ended," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told shareholders in a recent investor call [via GamesIndustry.biz]. "We have suspended development on 1666 for an undisclosed time."
Desilets, the creator of Assassin's Creed who left Ubisoft several years ago due to creative differences but ended up back at the old firm after the THQ auction, was recently fired under less-than-pleasant circumstances. He claims that Ubisoft fired him without warning and didn't even give him the opportunity to say his goodbyes, and may well plan to seek legal action against the publisher.
To add fuel to the fire, Superannuation alleges that the rights to 1666 should legally revert to Desilets if the project is cancelled outright as per his contract, meaning that Ubisoft's decision to "suspend" development is possibly a cheeky way of retaining the IP without working on it.
This whole thing is starting to look more than a little shady. More as we hear it.