Non-compete clauses have been around for ages so I'm not really sure what to make of this article
on Next Generation where EA Montreal is calling out Ubisoft's Montreal studio for forcing their developers to sign them as a condition of employment. All they do is make it harder to hire away employees from the original company which of course prevents EA from poaching developers from Ubisoft.
There's a lot of interesting verbiage about employee and creative freedom in the letter but given the competitive market for developers it is hard to blame Ubi for protecting their assets (why would you hire someone, train them, and then let them go to a competitor without any kind of clause). Ubi is certainly not unique in asking employees to sign these kinds of agreements and the whole thing reeks a bit of desperation.