In a recent interview with GameSpot, Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot briefly explained why gamers won’t see a new Assassin’s Creed installment in 2016. The reason is simple: The latest chapter currently in development has the potential to be huge, capable of taking the franchise to a whole new level. Because of this, the publisher wants to take its time baking the sweet Assassin’s Creed goodness.
“It was feasible because we have other games,” he said. “There’s a huge potential in this game to revolutionize the IP, so we said, ‘Let’s make sure we change our model so we have more time and that we can bring back a greater experience.’ It will be back when it’s ready. That’s when we feel we have something there.”
That, of course, doesn’t mean the next Assassin’s Creed will arrive in 2017.
Guillemot wouldn’t go into details on how the current game in development will change the way gamers look at the franchise. But as GameSpot points out in the interview, Assassin’s Creed 2 established the open-world model world Ubisoft uses in multiple titles. Will the new Assassin’s Creed evolve that standard? He wouldn’t say.
The Assassin’s Creed franchise essentially introduced a new chapter each year since the series began with the original title in 2007. The sequel arrived in 2009 followed by Brotherhood in 2010, Revelations in 2011, Assassin’s Creed III in 2012, Black Flag in 2013, Rogue and Unity in 2014, and Syndicate in 2015. Other related games have also been distributed throughout the years such as Recollection, Pirates, Memories, and more.
Signs of an Assassin’s Creed-free 2016 appeared in early February when the team said it was stepping back and re-examining the overall franchise. That meant they were taking a break from releasing a new chapter in 2016. This step back may have had something to do with the rerelease of Assassin’s Creed Unity and the feedback the team received.
“We’ve learned a lot based on your feedback,” the team stated. “We’ve also updated our development processes and recommitted to making Assassin’s Creed a premier open-world franchise. We’re taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.”
Soon after, Guillemot followed up with a statement during Ubisoft’s Investor Day, revealing that the company may never return to an annual release of Assassin’s Creed games. However, to be fair, Ubisoft plans to move away from rapidly releasing sequels altogether. The company will instead rely on “multiplayer-centric games” that will generate revenue each year.
In a separate report, Tommy François, Ubisoft vice president of editorial, backed up Guillemot’s comments regarding the company’s current “take it slow” stance with the Assassin’s Creed franchise. However, François indicated that the next Far Cry game is also in development, and is, another project Ubisoft plans to take its time with in the game-baking kitchen.
“We believe alpha for these games needs to be one year before release,” he said. “We’re trying to achieve that. That’s superfucking blunt. I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this. This is the goal we’re going for: alpha one year before, more quality, more polish. So if this means biting the [bullet] and not having an Assassin’s game, or a Far Cry [in 2017], fuck it.”
His referral to alpha means an internal completed state of the game from which the team will make changes, improvements, and so on. He said that 2016 was the year the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry franchises were allowed to “decant, innovate, and polish.”