Ubisoft announces six Assassin’s Creed games and big change to series' meta-story

Ubisoft announces six Assassin’s Creed games and big change to series’ meta-story

Ubisoft is getting even bigger with a revamp and expansion of its Assassin’s Creed series that will include games for console, PC, and mobile, a return to multiplayer, and an expanded partnership with Netflix.

Why it matters: Through Assassin’s Creed, the multinational game publisher is trying to regain quality, productivity and reputation after several rather dismal years.

  • Assassin’s Creed had already been a bright spot for the company, with 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the 12th main game in the series, becoming the first to gross $1 billion.
  • But releases of the series have slowed, some senior game developers have left, other Ubisoft projects have failed, and the company has continued to be rocked by workplace misconduct scandals since the summer of 2020.

Details: Six new Assassin’s Creed games for Axios and other media were unveiled at Ubisoft’s headquarters in Paris. They include Assassin’s Creed Mirage from 2023, a cut-down PC/console/streaming installment set in 9th century Baghdad, the large-scale, undated Codename Red set in feudal Japan, and another major Codename Hexe release.

  • Two mobile games were also announced, a free-to-play open-world adventure called Assassin’s Creed Jade, set in ancient China, and an unspecified AC to be offered through Netflix’s mobile gaming service.
  • A new Assassin’s Creed multiplayer game called Invictus also comes from Ubisoft developers who have worked on the Rainbow 6 Siege and For Honor multiplayer franchises.

Between lines: As part of a production revamp, Ubisoft is projecting longer development times for its Assassin’s Creed games, with the Ubisoft Quebec-led Red project getting more than three years of development that the studio took to make 2018’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. .

  • “By giving teams the same development budget in terms of months of development over a longer period of time, we believe our games can achieve higher quality and be more sustainable from a human and technological point of view,” he said. executive producer of the series, Marc-Alexis Côté. reporters
  • Red is projected to be an epic, with years of post-launch support, similar to recent Assassin’s Creed games. It’s projected to match the long playtimes of Odyssey and Valhalla that have excited some players but fatigued others.
  • Hexe, run by original main franchise studio Ubisoft Montreal, probably won’t be that long. “We’re not going to come out with another 150-hour game right after Red,” Côté said of Hexe’s release. “Those games can live simultaneously. It’s because they’ll approach game design, they’ll approach structure very differently.”

The infinite spin: Ubisoft will offer these AC games differently, connecting them through a hub called Assassin’s Creed Infinity that will serve as an interactive portal to past, present and future games.

  • Côté told Axios that Infinity’s approach would allow some studios to work on smaller projects and floated the idea of ​​jobs being led by Ubisoft’s Chengdu, Sofia and Singapore studios. (ac games No in development, despite rumours, Côté confirmed Axios: a remake of the first Assassin’s Creed and a crossover series set in Egypt).
  • In a major change of format, Infinity will also house any new parts of the Assassin’s Creed meta-story, the serialized modern narrative that previously appeared in every major AC.

A cloud of scandal: Allegations of workplace misconduct and abuses of power led to the departure of several top men from Ubisoft studios in mid-2020, followed by workplace reforms that received mixed responses.

  • Those issues have directly impacted Assassin’s Creed, leading to the firing of AC Valhalla’s creative director and raising questions about alleged toxic management involving Côté and Odyssey creative director Jonathan Dumont, who now oversees Red.
  • Ubisoft has consistently refused to discuss details, but has said that anyone named in the press reports has been investigated and sanctioned as necessary.
  • Côté told Axios that he “didn’t recognize me,” in a press report critical of him. “But clearly some people saw me that way and I have to own up to it.”
  • He said he “stood up in front of the entire studio and apologized for any mistakes he might have made” and began talking to people in the studio about how he needed to improve. He learned that he occasionally made hurtful comments to workers, comments that he claimed were not meant to hurt those colleagues. He “was drowning them inside and making them feel disrespected.”
  • He also believes that he has been more reactive in the face of possible abuse: “We intervene much earlier when there is a situation that could lead us down the path of harassment.”

The bottom line: Ubisoft sees Assassin’s Creed as the vehicle to lift the company out of a slump, diversify its output, set an example for other in-house franchises and, if Côté’s reform assessment is accurate, clean up its act.

  • The proof will emerge in the next few years, in a future suddenly dense with new Assassin’s Creeds.

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