Ubisoft has placed Patrice Désilets' mysterious 1666 project on hold following the creative director's recent departure from the company.
Désilets, creative director of the first two Assassin's Creed games, recently returned to Ubisoft when the company bought his Montreal-based studio from now-defunct publisher THQ.
But the reunion was not to be. Last week, after less than two months back at the company, Désilets was shown the door.
"After more than two months of discussion with [Désilets], we couldn't align our vision both on project development and team management," Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot explained in an investor call last night (thanks, GamesIndustry International).
"Consequently our collaboration has ended. We have suspended development on 1666 for an undisclosed time."
Comments from Désilets last week suggested the split was less than harmonious.
"I was terminated by Ubisoft," Désilets said. "I was notified of this termination in person, handed a termination notice and was unceremoniously escorted out of the building by two guards without being able to say goodbye to my team or collect my personal belongings."
So, what of the mysterious 1666 - a game that Désilets had sunk several years into?
Serial tipster Superannuation alleges that by keeping the project indefinitely suspended - but not cancelled - Ubisoft is able to essentially scrap the game without giving up the its IP.
"Désilets' contract specifies that IP rights revert to him in event of the game's cancellation, similar to the arrangement Del Toro had with THQ," Superannuation wrote.
"Ubisoft indefinitely suspending production on 1666 is a way for them to cancel the game without giving back Desilets his IP as per his contract."
We've contacted Ubisoft for more information.