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View Full Version : Electronic Arts, Ubisoft Clash On Montreal Hiring


RobertoOrtiz
02-01-2006, 06:27 PM
Quote:
"A long-running conflict between the Montreal studios of major publishers Electronic Arts and Ubisoft over non-compete clauses for departing Ubisoft game development employees has again flared to life, following the hiring of an unnamed former Ubisoft employee to work at EA's Montreal studio.

Electronic Arts representatives have provided Gamasutra with a copy of a letter sent by EA Montreal head Alain Tascan to Ubisoft Montreal head Martin Tremblay accompanying the news of the hiring, despite a one year non-compete agreement signed by that employee when working at Ubisoft, and which asks Ubisoft to "stop the illegitimate practice of forcing talented people to sign employment contracts that restrict their creative and economic freedom.""


Roberto here: Gotta love those non compete clauses in contracts.

>>LINK<< (http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=7985)

-R

leigh
02-01-2006, 06:47 PM
Studios back in my home country often try this clause as well, but back there it is considered unconstitutional to prevent a person from making a living, and if a studio wishes to enforce the restraint clause, then they have to pay the artist a wage for the entire duration of that period. Otherwise they simply cannot lawfully hold the artist to that clause.

Slurry
02-01-2006, 07:10 PM
I like Leigh's idea. That seems fair.

switchblade327
02-01-2006, 07:14 PM
Studios back in my home country often try this clause as well, but back there it is considered unconstitutional to prevent a person from making a living, and if a studio wishes to enforce the restraint clause, then they have to pay the artist a wage for the entire duration of that period. Otherwise they simply cannot lawfully hold the artist to that clause.

I belive the state of California has a similar law, not nearly as thorough but I'd heard it's illegal to prevent someone from working any kind of job.

Hugh-Jass
02-01-2006, 07:27 PM
At different companies I only remember clauses about not luring ex co-workers to your company after you left... so this clause says you can't work in the same industry? that's absurd. What the hell you supposed to do live on the street holding a cardboard sign for a year and then look for a job again?

funny, I get a lot of spam about meds for Ubisoft

SheepFactory
02-01-2006, 10:40 PM
I just heard from sources both in EA and outside that EA redwood laid off a massive amount of people today (more then %25 they say) and still going on.

Anyone know whats going on? And i hope everyone is fine and best of luck to those who got laid off in finding new jobs.

SheepFactory
02-01-2006, 10:45 PM
also found this link which explains why:

http://www.joystiq.com/2006/02/01/ea-layoffs-may-be-looming/

PhilOsirus
02-01-2006, 10:53 PM
EA has been in trouble since March 2005. Their stock value has been dropping since then . They have been spending a lot of money for little in return. Xbox360 didn't sell as much as expected, so their 360 games didn't either. Licenses have not been selling as well either (two consecutive James Bond games that didn't turn into big sellers). The Godfather is costing them a lot of money, it is always delayed, but it has not managed to draw in a lot of attention, most see it as another bad licensed game (see for yourself on gametrailers.com (http://www.gametrailers.com/gamepage.php?fs=yes&id=1403)). The only title they have been working on that has been getting a lot of attention is made by Criterio (Black). But the same has been happening with Activision and Ubisoft. Cheap productions are no longer bringing in big profits. Market saturation tends to force people to have higher expectations and demand innovation.

I think this clause won't last for much longer, companies will have to pay the employee if they prevent him from working.

ekah
02-01-2006, 11:18 PM
Interesting. Here is an article posted at 1up.com today.

"EA Lays Off 1000 Staff?"
Publisher is indeed "realigning resources."
by Jane Pinckard, 02/01/2006

"This afternoon we saw the industry message boards ablaze with rumors that EA had laid off 1,000 people, that EA Redwood Shores was closing, and that The Godfather was cancelled.

Okay, so the rumor raced a little out of control. However, EA is "realigning resources" to meet the "transition of the industry," according to a spokesperson for the publisher. Approximately 5% of EA staff worldwide will be affected - and considering EA has about 6500 employees, that means in spite of the positive spin on things there will still be around 325 people without jobs. But EA assures us that no announced games will be affected...."

Read more:
http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3147689 (http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3147689)

SheepFactory
02-01-2006, 11:37 PM
Started a new thread about this since its pretty official now.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=3211314#post3211314

asparapani
02-02-2006, 12:54 AM
Those non-competition clauses can be easily argued in a quebec court. How is a person supposed to make a living if he/she is absent in the industry for an entire year? How does it benefit society and who will pay that individuals tax revenue for that year? The courts in quebec will throw out the argument. That is how they see that clause. Ubisoft is just flexing their muscles.

Ryan-B
02-02-2006, 08:17 AM
"The controversy last came to a head in late 2003, with a Canadian court case brought by Ubisoft against EA for hiring away four major Spinter Cell developers to work at the (at that time newly formed) Electronic Arts Montreal Studio. In that case, Ubisoft won an interim injunction preventing the employees from working at EA within a specified length of time after leaving, and an Ubisoft spokesperson commented to Reuters at the time: "It's pretty much what we expected that the Quebec Court of Appeal would say, that the 'non-compete' clause is reasonable... It's standard in the industry, in Montreal and in Canada."

quyeno
02-02-2006, 08:56 AM
I have worked with some ex-Rare artists in the past and apprently they have a similiar claus and they also have a claus where they are allowed to sign documents on your behalf!

Can any ex-Rare or current Rare staff confirm this?

Tlock
02-02-2006, 09:16 PM
In the early part of the 20th century (something like 1930's), many business practices were common in a field that are no longer in practice because ppl realized they were infringing on an individuals right. Look at the early days of Ford (i like would to add that Ford has much better practices today and this statement was not intended to reflect against Ford today).

Example: Managers use to check the toilet to see if you went to make sure you didn't have an authorized paid break.

I think the Canadian court was wrong and provided zero leadership in their findings. An individual has a right to work for and whomever they choose. So long as they don't use intellectual property from a previous company.

These clauses are unlawful and only shows how business ethics is making another dip.

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