We may not see another Assassin’s Creed game until 2018— and even though fans might miss taking those leaps of faith, this is something to celebrate.
Ubisoft has been pumping out AC games on an annual basis since 2007, and while some titles innovated the series, others took a step backwards. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) is an example of one of the high points: singing shanties and sailing the high seas gave players a break from the tired formula of playing Spiderman in different time periods. The very next year, though, fans were met with the big fat disappointment that is Assassin’s Creed: Unity (2014). PC gamers especially found that the game was plagued with an inexcusable amount of technical issues– like other earlier titles in the franchise, it just doesn’t feel like a finished game.
If Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot’s recent interview with GameSpot is anything to go by, the next game in the franchise will be more than finished: it will take Assassin’s Creed “to another level.”
Guillemot was asked why there will not be a new AC title for 2016, and when fans can expect it to roll out. His answer, though vague, points to a rebirth of the franchise: he says that “[Ubisoft will] take all the time it takes to make the experience fantastic,” even if that means another Creed-less year in 2017.
This all comes as Ubisoft fights for the freedom to do just this– break away from tradition, and sometimes schedule, in order to take risks with their games. The developer is currently staving off a takeover threat from media company Vivendi. Guillemot says that the potential buyout could have a major impact on future Ubisoft games. He stressed that big business conglomerates sometimes do not understand the vitality of risk-taking in the video game industry, and that could stagnate their games. In other words: when an independent game developer gets taken over by a big company that isn’t necessarily focused on video games, it becomes less about creating innovative titles and more about creating cash cows. Guillemot has said that, should Vivendi successfully buy Ubisoft, he would step down as CEO since the takeover “threatens the construction and pillars of Ubisoft.”
One thing is for sure: buyout or not, Ubisoft is giving its developers plenty of time to make the next AC the best game it can be– and then some. If they churn out a smash success, it will surely be a rebirth of a series that, for many, died along with Desmond; but if Ubisoft fails to deliver yet again, it could be a death sentence for the franchise, at least critically.
If you are hankering to climb new cathedrals and stab new Templar, the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles series is a lesser-known set of adventures developed by Climax. Those are going to remain the newest games in the world of Assassins until Ubisoft’s next addition to the franchise rears its head– whenever that may be.
GameSpot’s full interview of Yves Guillemot can be found here.