The most surprising thing about Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is not its 1715 setting in the Caribbean Sea or its willful glorification of such unsavory acts as theft, murder, whaling, and being a real scallywag. Being a dangerous ruffian doing all sorts of bad things for some ultimately noble end is Assassin’s Creed’s raison d’être after all. What’s surprising about the latest entry in Ubisoft’s series is actually very simple: The name.
The numbered Assassin’s Creed games all the way up to 2012’s Assassin’s Creed III don’t have subtitles, unless they’re offshoots like the PS Vita’s Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation or Ezio’s continuing story told in Brotherhood and Revelations. So what’s the deal with Black Flag? It’s not an offshoot according to Ubisoft. In fact, the offshoot of Black Flag may not even include the IV. Judging from a leaked piece of concept art obtained by Eurogamer, it’ll just be called Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix.
Whether that offshoot is a game or not is up in the air, but it’s not wholly clear what Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix is as of this writing. A logo and promotional art for the game was leaked out of Ubisoft Digital Arts on Friday, but that’ all.
In the background is the logo for Erudito Industries, the modern corporate front for the assassins fighting against the Templar-controlled Abstergo Industries. Ubisoft said during the Assassin’s Creed IV preview event that players will control a modern day employee of Abstergo in the new sequel.
It’s possible that Rising Phoenix will be another series of live action short films. Ubisoft Digital Arts, along with director Yves Simoneau, produced a series of movie tie-ins for Assassin’s Creed II under the name Assassin’s Creed: Lineage in 2009. There was also an animated film called Assassin’s Creed: Embers that acted as an epilogue to Ezio’s story.
Ubisoft is currently working on a full-length movie entry in the Assassin’s Creed series. Production company New Regency and Ubisoft announced in January that stage writer Michael Lesslie, who won acclaim for his play Prince of Denmark, is working on the Assassin’s Creed movie. The movie was originally targeted for a 2013 release date, but with nine months of the year remaining, that seems like unlikely. When asked about the timing of the film’s release, Ubisoft said at the Black Flag preview event that it wasn’t ready to discuss specifics for the movie just yet.