As Patrice Desilets fights Ubisoft for control of his game 1666: Amsterdam, he faces another problem; what to do if he wins.
Desilets spent two years developing the game at THQ Montreal, before that studio was bought by his former employer Ubisoft, which fired Desilets and put development of the game on hold. According to Desilets, he has a contractual right to buy the game back from Ubi and continue work on its development. Ubisoft argues that any contracts he signed with THQ are non-binding.
Little is known about 1666: Amsterdam, except that it is likely a historical role-playing game. Desilets is best-known for creating the Assassin‘s Creed series.
"It would be difficult to do 1666 as an independent studio of 12 people," he said in an interview with GamesIndustry. "But the indie scene and all the small studios are really attractive to me these days. To be in control, and to have fun, and to not have to deal with all the politics of a huge corporation."
One option could be digital episodic, a model he has already said he admires. "Even with 1666, I was contemplating whether we do that or maybe go episodic, like The Walking Dead," he said. "So I'm giving you maybe five hours of it, and if there's a market it will continue, and if not we can stop. That way, you don't need $100 million. You can do it for $15 million and see if there's a public for it out there.
"You need to design all 60 hours, but then you focus on making the first five, and then the next, and then the next. And then, like The Walking Dead, when everything is done you can buy your disc with everything on there."
When asked if he has considered what he'll do if Ubisoft beats off his legal challenge for 1666, he said that he doesn‘t contemplate the notion. "What's the point?" he said. "It would be a shame, but that's it. I'm just trying to stay positive that it will happen, and that everybody will get to play it one day, myself included, by the way. Meanwhile, I have many other game ideas in my little book, and I'll dig into that."