Patrice Désilets – Ubisoft
We feel for Désilets on this one. After leaving Ubisoft in 2010 due to concerns over the direction in which the Assassin Creed series – Patrice's baby – was headed, Patrice soon found himself at THQ, with the publisher giving him the freedom to work on 1666, another grand, ambitious, historical-themed personal project.
And then THQ went down the tubes faster than Usain Bolt at a water park, meaning Désilets ended back up with Ubisoft after it acquired his game. Until today of course, when Désilets and Ubi parted ways. Ubi tried to say it was one of those mutual things, like when you agree to split a pizza. No biggy. Désilets saw it differently, saying that Ubisoft had 'terminated' him that morning which a) seems like an overreaction and b) begs the question as to how a man recently killed by a time-travelling cyborg assassin can complain about his killers.
Those unanswered questions aside, Désilets has vowed to fight on and reclaim his work and team, presumably in ghost form like Dark Souls or something.
Peter Moore – Microsoft
Formerly a high-ranking executive for Sega and Microsoft, Moore left the house that Bill built in 2007 to join EA Sports. He's presumed to be in the running to take over all of EA following the departure of John Riccitiello.
Phil Harrison – Sony
Lazy lead-ins (like this one) will always make reference to Harrison as being taller than two giraffes doing that thing where one stands on another's shoulders to get into a height-restricted venue. But the real reason he will be remembered is for his role in launching the original PlayStation and its successors. Harrison knew the market was turning and helped position Sony as a cool brand, championing many innovations over the years, including motion gaming (before that became cool and then really, really uncool).
He left in 2008 to go to, er, Atari, which didn't really work out. Other ventures followed, but Harrison is now installed at Microsoft. We'll leave it to you to decide whether that's a face or heel turn.
Peter Molyneux – Microsoft
When he's not talking complete nonsense or being lampooned in scarily-accurate Twitter accounts, Molyneux sometimes decides to create great games. And when he's not doing all of that, he's either starting his own studio, selling his studio, starting another studio, selling that one, and then jacking it all in to form a small-scale indie venture. Molyneux's split from Microsoft wasn't exactly smooth after he chose to walk away, but we really hope that now, free from 'the man', he can create something brilliant. And we don't mean social experiment-OCD fest Curiosity.
CliffyB – Epic
One of the most memorable splits of recent times is also one of the most drama-free. After more than a decade of genre-defining games, bombastic show appearances and interesting fashion choices, Bleszinski left Epic Games late last year. He's now off doing his own thing, including writing a blog that tells guys how to pick up girls. That is not a joke.
The BioWare Doctors – EA
Three years ago, Bioware seemed untouchable. Headed up by doctors Muzyka and Zeschuk, they were sitting pretty on the success of the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, had Star Wars The Old Republic upcoming, and the three colours choice was just deciding which film to watch.
Fast forward and Mass Effect ended with a whimper, casuing outcry, Dragon Age II was the worst follow-up since Highlander II, and The Old Republic emphatically proved that it's not 2007 anymore. Worse still, the two man that founded the company decided to leave. Ray Muzyka went into investing and technology, and Greg Zeschuk went off to, among other things, make, er, beer.
Shinji Mikami – Capcom
One of videogames' greatest ever directors, Mikami sealed his legacy by directing and producing various Resident Evil titles (including the first and fourth, two of the best games of all time). Walking away from Capcom in the mid-2000s, Mikami went on to form what would become Platinum Games (and created Vanquish there) before moving again and founding Tango Gameworks, where he will soon release big-budget horror title The Evil Within.
John Romero - Id Software
For John Romero to leave id at a time when the company was ruling PC gaming and pushing the limits of what was technalogically possible was a huge move. The story that followed soon became legendary – rivalry, hubris, great hair – and while Carmack may have achieved greater success than Romero in the years that followed, we still think they were at their best when working together.
Tomonobu Itagaki – Tecmo
'You've got to love Itagaki'. That's something we would say if we could look past the fact that he wears sunglasses inside. Still, there's no denying that the man has some serious skills when it comes to creating fighting games, which was the key cause of constenation when he left Team Ninja in 2008, going on to found Valhalla Game Studios. Fans of the series were worried Ninja Gaiden would suffer, and it duly did, resulting in the risible third installment.
Itagaki is now hard at work on Devil's Third and wearing sunglasses.
Vince Zampella/Jason West – Activision
One of the most contentious splits since Geri Halliwell decided to go it alone or Nintendo decided to sell the 3DS without a charger, the Zampella/West saga had the video game industry hooked from its start in 2009 until the case was resolved in 2011. Infinity Ward founders West and Zampella were fired shortly before Modern Warfare 2 released and made enormo-cash. The guys weren't best pleased by this, and soon lawsuits – and huge accusations – were flying like spam grenades on Shipment.