MONTREAL–Game designer Patrice Désilets stunned the video game world with his high-profile departure from Ubisoft in 2010. Désilets’s contract prohibited him from working for the past year but now the creative director behind “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” and “Assassin’s Creed” franchise is back in the game, having joined THQ’s new development studio in Montreal. In his first interview in the new digs in Montreal, Désilets opens up about the new job, the time off and what it’s like to be an underdog again in the gaming world.
Reuters: You’ve been at THQ for about a month, how do you find it?
Désilets: I’m not used to it (laughs). You can see in the industry that a lot of people change jobs often and then there’s me. I spent 13 years in the same company. I started July 2, 1997 and I quit May 28, 2010. In between, I did six games with roughly the same people, so I’m really excited. I like where we physically are in the city. I spent my professional years back in the Mile End and it’s nice to change the scenery. I walk to work and I like this district with these nice restaurants around.
The real thing for me is just to meet a bunch of new people. There’s 100 plus people to meet and I’m bad with names, but the energy is the same as when I started at Ubisoft. It’s a smaller place with less people but also, there’s the feeling that we’re the underdogs. So it’s all about the need to prove ourselves and do something great, instead of at a bigger company where you’re making sure you are still good and making sure that you’re growing.
Back then (at Ubisoft), nobody knew what they were doing. We didn’t have a lot of expertise back then. Now Ubisoft does. Here (at THQ), right away, I’m in meetings with people who know how to make a game, so that’s a lot easier than it was back then. But the energy of, “rah! Let’s do something together and its going to be great,” is there and it’s less so at other companies.
Reuters: Do you feel pressure or extra responsibility because you are helping build a new studio in Montreal?