Ubisoft and EA Fight Over Non-Compete Clauses

Via Gamasutra, news of a squabble between EA and Ubisoft over the latter’s habit of asking employees to sign one-year non-competition agreements. Says EA: “In the spirit of creative freedom, economic emancipation and workers’ rights, EA has in fact accepted the application of an employee who had been working at Ubi Soft…”

A bit bizarre hearing the industry’s 800-pound gorilla complain about competitive practices. (Was EA acting “in the spirit of creative freedom” when it inked an exclusive agreement with the NFL, torpedoing any franchise that competes with Madden in the process?) Irony is alive and well.

Note to future Ubisoft employees: a non-competition clause (like most things in an employment offer) is negotiable. Ubisoft has the legal right to request that you temporarily restrict your future employment opportunties following termination of your relationship with Ubisoft… and you have the right to request a higher salary, bigger bonus, and/or a significant guaranteed severence package (etc) in exchange for sacrificing some of your precious liberty. Capitalism cuts both ways. 😉

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