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Assassin's Creed head defects to THQ

Patrice Désilets to run new studio for rival publisher

Former Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia creative director Patrice Désilets is set to join THQ next summer to run a new development studio, the publisher has just announced.

In a surprising move, Désilets will shun former employer Ubisoft - where he spent more than ten years - to hire a team to develop new intellectual properties for THQ in Montreal, Quebec.

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Speaking to CVG, Ubisoft Montreal called Désilets' exit "a shocker".

"The best way we can deliver fresh, high-quality gaming experiences is by working with the best talent," said THQ core games boss Danny Bilson of the coup.

"We expect calendar 2011 to be a watershed year for THQ, and adding developers like Patrice helps ensure our focus on new IP and great games charted by leading industry artists."

Désilets left Ubisoft earlier this year to take a "creative break from the industry".

Désilets has been the creative force behind both Assassin's Creed games and the excellent Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

A Ubisoft spokesperson said at the time: "With his role on project essentially done, Patrice Désilets has decided to take a creative break from the industry and is no longer working on Assassin's Creed Brotherhood."

The Désilets departure would've come as a blow to the Montreal studio in particular, which has also lost Splinter Cell mastermind Clint Hocking and famed producer Jade Raymond, who left to assume control of the new Ubisoft Toronto studio.

UPDATE: Désilets has published an open letter to the community, explaining that he delayed the THQ move to next summer out of "respect" to Ubisoft.

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