Assassin’s Creed co-creator Patrice Désilets has shed a little light on his canceled game 1666 in an interview with GameReactor Spain, claiming that it was supposed to be the next Assassin’s Creed. As with most video game developers who take on the guise of artists, Désilets is very proud of his project.
“It was not easy because I was not making a little guy jumping around with swords, and I was not making a shooter. I was trying something different again, to push the boundaries.”
The cancellation of 1666 is a long an complicated matter extending from THQ’s bankruptcy auction to Désilets first and second departure from publisher Ubisoft. Désilets had already put a year’s worth of effort into the game before Ubisoft unceremoniously fired him and scrapped it.
Much like the Assassin’s Creed series, 1666 would have the protagonist interact with historical figures, in this case Rembrandt.
“Rembrandt was still alive in 1666, died in 1669. I took one of his most famous paintings, The Philosopher, and put it in the design documents – so I referred to this matter, more or less.”
He is currently in a legal battle with the publisher, seeking the rights to develop the game and $400,000 in damages. Désilets claims the artistic freedom arrangement he had at THQ should have carried over into Ubisoft as his contract stipulated, but Ubisoft claims that Désilets was being uncooperative in working with them to meet their vision of what the game should have been.
Ubisoft also does not want two historical video games competing with one another, obviously.
It’s a shame that the game won’t get made unless Désilets wins his case. Assassin’s Creed under him certainly had its highs and lows, but one thing that the game is a little tough to criticize is its ability to recreate a moment in history.
Désilets has a knack for giving a setting for historical conspiracies to unfold, 1666 could have been just another great game in a long list. At the same time, he might have suffered from small illusions of grandeur and lost his vision amongst the THQ wreckage. We’ll follow his case and see if it peters out anywhere.