The next entry in the Assassin’s Creed series will not be released until 2017. According to Kotaku, the new game, codename: “Empire,” will be set in ancient Egypt.
According to sources close to the developer, Ubisoft delayed the 2016 entry in the series following the negative reaction to the Assassin’s Creed: Unity. One of two AC games released 2014 and the first for the current generation of consoles, Unity, was plagued by bugs and controversy and is widely considered a low-point for the franchise. Ubisoft believes that Unity’s technical shortcomings impacted the sales of this year’s much-improved Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.
If accurate, the change will break Assassin’s Creed series’ long-standing annual schedule. Publisher Ubisoft has released at least one entry in the series every year since Assassin’s Creed II came out in 2009. The decision to push “Empire” to 2017 may not represent a delay, but a paradigm shift; Ubisoft is reportedly considering scaling back the franchise to release every other year.
Based on information from unnamed sources and rumors from a 4Chan message board, which have been reproduced on NeoGAF, this information is far from an official confirmation from Ubisoft. However, Kotaku has broken stories releasing the names and locales of the last two Assassin’s Creed titles, Unity and Syndicate (codename: “Victory”).
Regarding “Empire” itself, multiple sources reportedly suggested that, in addition to scoping out Egypt, a section of game set in ancient Rome may have been planned, but ultimately removed from the game. Rumor has it that “Empire” may kick off a new trilogy in the Assassin’s Creed universe following a single character in the ancient world, with a future game set in Rome or Greece.
Assassin’s Creed fans will still be able to get their fill of the franchise this year. Ubisoft will release two more side-scrolling Assassin’s Creed games in January and February, and the Assassin’s Creed movie, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, is slated to hit theaters December 21, 2016.