If there was any mutinous doubt that Ubisoft was devoted to making Assassin’s Creed an annual franchise after four annual releases spanning Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed 3, it was cast overboard as jetsam the moment Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag sailed into view this Spring, signaling that the series was prepared to meet the next generation head-on with its brand new protagonist in Edward Kenway.
The massive size and scope of Assassin’s Creed 3 was the result of a three-year development effort at primary studio Ubisoft Montreal; we know Black Flag has been stitching itself together there since mid-2011; and now it’s been disclosed by Ubisoft Toronto managing director Jade Raymond that her studio is already assisting Ubi Montreal on a forthcoming, post-Black Flag Assassin’s Creed. Tentatively, we’ll call it Assassin’s Creed 5.
The relationship revealed itself when Raymond spoke to Polygon regarding Ubisoft Toronto’s future. Having wasted no time in making an impact since its inception in 2009, the studio is fresh off completing the multiplayer maps for Rainbow Six: Patriots (which appears destined to be a next-gen title) and rolls out its first plat du jour this August in Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Beyond that, well, in addition to announcing plans for an additional Splinter Cell title, here’s how Raymond described Ubi Toronto’s rapidly expanding workload for the coming years:
“We have two big collaborations coming that we’re not talking about, on two of the biggest franchises at Ubisoft. We also have two new IP.”
Ruling out Splinter Cell — Polygon attributes the revelation of a post-Black List project to a separate comment — “two of the biggest franchises at Ubisoft” could include a number of different properties: Far Cry, Rainbow Six, Prince of Persia. They certainly include Assassin’s Creed.
It seems — no, it’s way — too early to begin speculating about the direction of Assassin’s Creed 5, or whatever installment eventually succeeds Black Flag. It’s only been weeks since AC 4 was unveiled to the public, and we’re still getting acclimatized to the tropical, sultry Caribbean, to Ubisoft (Montreal)’s journey back into the Golden Age of Piracy and to its tethering of land and naval combat/exploration into one of the first triple-A titles of the next generation.
Still, Ubisoft Toronto’s future involvement with Assassin’s Creed would add some serious talent to a series that, over the last several years, has evolved into a cavalcade of collaboration: Seven additional Ubi studios — Ubisoft Annecy, Bucharest, Kiev, Montpellier, Quebec, Singapore and Sofia — are on tap to assist Ubisoft Montreal with AC 4: Black Flag, up from the five that assisted on AC 3. With Raymond, Toronto’s leader and a longtime Ubisoft visionary, sounding eager about the work that lies ahead, it’s quite possible, even likely, that the next next annual installment of Assassin’s Creed is already in the early phases development.
Ranters, what impact do you think Ubisoft Toronto is apt to have on Assassin’s Creed? Is it too early to begin speculating about Assassin’s Creed 5 and, on that note, where would you like to see the series head after AC 4: Black Flag?
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Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag will be released October 29, 2013 for the PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360. Eventual next-gen releases have also been confirmed.