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Assassin's Creed may never return to annual schedule

It seems that Assassin’s Creed will not return to its old annual release cycle after the next game in the series is released, based on recent comments from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. Speaking at the publisher’s Investor Day, Guillemot said the series would not “automatically” go back to publishing Assassin’s Creed games every year.

“The goal is not to automatically come back to an annual cycle, but to come back on a regular basis,” Guillemot said. “We can’t say every year.”

The statement confirms yet another piece of a January report from Kotaku, which revealed Ubisoft would break the series’ yearly publishing streak to re-examine the franchise. Ubisoft confirmed there would be no new Assassin’s Creed in 2016 in a statement on their blog in February. Meanwhile, Ubisoft confirmed that another high-profile sequel, Watch Dogs 2, would fill in for the franchise this holiday season, during a quarterly earning call. The report also said that the next Assassin’s Creed, codenamed “Empire,” would come out in 2017. “Empire” will reportedly take place in ancient Egypt, and kick off a new trilogy within the franchise.

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Guillemot told investors he planned to increase revenue 60 percent in the next three years by moving the company away from rapidly releasing sequels, in favor of “multiplayer-centric games” that, when successful, can generate revenue year-round. He specifically cited The Division, Rainbow Six: Siege, and upcoming action game For Honor as current and upcoming examples of that strategy in action. Guillemot also said the publisher would release a as-yet unannounced IP with a multiplayer focus by the end of its next financial year, which ends March 31, 2017.

At the same time, Guillemot said the company would seek to grow its audience by bringing its franchises, including Assassin’s Creed, to new mediums. In addition to the Assassin’s Creed movie, which opens in December, 2016, the publisher has signed a deal with book publisher Scholastic to produce a series of young adult novels inspired by the franchise called The Last Descendants. The first book will hit shelves this September, followed by a sequel coming in January, 2017.