THQ heads north, grabs key Ubisoft talent

Add THQ to the publishers expanding their operations into Canada. The company behind WWE games and last year’s “Avatar” has announced plans to open a development studio in Montreal – and has grabbed one of the country’s top developers in the process. PatriceDesilets

Patrice Désilets, formerly creative director on the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise at Ubisosft, will join the company next summer. (He’s currently riding out a non-compete from Ubisoft.)

That’s a big coup for THQ – and will help the company as it tries to break further into the core gaming market. THQ has had some success with its “Red Fraction” franchise and has high hopes for 2011’s “Homefront,” but hasn’t had a lot of recent success reaching out to core gamers.

That’s critical, since the core player is becoming increasingly important to publishers as casual players are spending more time with social network games and mobile apps.

Once he starts next summer, Désilets (who is represented by Creative Artists Agency) will be put in charge of hiring a new team that will develop new intellectual properties for THQ.

“We can’t wait for Patrice to join THQ,” said Danny Bilson, EVP of core games at THQ. “Patrice brings a passion for games rich with action-packed sequences, gripping characters and cinematic flair. … We expect calendar 2011 to be a watershed year for THQ.”


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