It appears as if Ubisoft has finally learned that quality is more important than yearly sales, at least concerning its most popular franchise. Similar to the Far Cry series, Ubi has made the decision to stagger the releases of new Assassin’s Creed games so that they release every other year, most likely in an attempt to remove the many bugs and glitches that have plagued the franchise since the series became annualized. There is also speculation that this release has been pushed back so that some major changes to the AC formula could be made, potentially in response to the complaints that the series has grown stale sticking to the same formula over time.
Supposedly set in Egypt, the player takes control of a slave (or ex-slave) in an era before the battles between Assassins and Templars ever existed, acting as a sort of prequel to the entire series. In the thread, it was also mentioned that this was intended to be something of a ‘series reboot,’ where new life is injected into the franchise over the course of a trilogy of games centered on this new character, spanning the likes of ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. The whole reboot is said to be helmed by the team that created the popular Black Flag, widely regarded to be one of the best games in the series, if not the best.
There is mention of some other new features to be present in the game as well, although these are more speculation than promised features at this point. A larger game world, the return of sailing and horses, and a seamless open world seem to be the biggest things of note, but there is also an interesting exclusion mentioned by the employee in question. As a direct quote:
“Oh by the way, online (COOP) is completely cut from the series for the time being. Not sure it will ever come back, to be honest.”
The primary focus on single-player seems to indicate that Ubisoft wants to get back to their roots on the whole Assassin’s Creed business, which I am all in favor of. The original quadrilogy was of relatively high quality, not including the latter pieces of the ‘Ezio trilogy,’ and the games have always functioned better as single-player adventure experiences than as multiplayer hide-and-seek games. This news, combined with Far Cry Primal releasing later this year, seems to show a quite wondrous change in the way Ubisoft is thinking. They may have noticed that yearly releases and DLC hounding were bad business tactics, or were losing them money, or a combination of the two; it’s hard to say for sure. Either way, however, this recent surge of creativity is a great change of pace in my book, and I’m happy to see where this new direction takes them.
The evidence at hand, a 4chan thread where a supposed developer of the new title answered questions relating to the game, should obviously be taken with some suspicion. 4chan is known for some wild rumors and speculation, but it doesn’t sound unreasonable in the slightest when you consider Ubisoft’s poor track record in the past few years. I would be looking to change things up too after the abysmal AC: Unity and the mediocre Syndicate, and using a time period people have been requesting for years is a good decision.
If any of this is true (which I’m hoping it is,) it looks like we may have actually fixed some of the problems in one of the biggest AAA developers out there. Would you look at that?