Ubisoft Sues Tremblay For Joining Vivendi

Gamasutra are reporting that following the recent hiring of Ubisoft’s Martin Tremblay as the new President, Worldwide Studios at Vivendi Games, Ubisoft has taken the major step of getting a preliminary injunction against former Ubisoft Montreal head Tremblay in the Quebec Superior Court, in an attempt to enforce the non-compete clause which has been a source of major controversy in Montreal gaming circles of late.

According to a statement issued by Ubisoft, the Honourable Robert Mongeon, J.S.C. has issued a preliminary injunction in favor of Ubisoft, ordering that Martin Tremblay “abstain and cease immediately, directly or indirectly, competing with applicant Ubisoft…” and “…cease immediately working, directly or indirectly, within the territories of Canada, the United States and Mexico, for his own behalf or on behalf of any third party, in any business which manufactures or commercializes video products that may compete with products sold, manufactured or developed by applicant Ubisoft”. This is due to the fact that Ubisoft’s contract with Tremblay restricted him from working with competitors for a period of time (in the other cases, a year) after leaving Ubisoft.

The injunction is valid until 5:00 PM on Tuesday May 9, 2006, at which point Ubisoft has announced it intends to apply “for a safeguard order” extending the injunction. Tremblay is believed to be currently working from Vivendi’s Los Angeles offices, so it is unclear at the time of this article’s publication how the injunction in a different country would immediately affect his position.

The controversy is particularly notable because Tremblay was Ubisoft’s central figure supporting the company’s non-compete clause repeated clashes between Electronic Arts and Ubisoft over hiring for the companies’ Montreal offices. In the most recent of these, EA hired Ubisoft employees in January 2006, continuing a tussle on the matter which saw a legal decision back in 2003 in favor of Ubisoft, after EA hired a number of ex-Splinter Cell personnel without the non-compete clause expiring.