Over the last three installments, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has gone from a thin (but still cool) proof of concept to a full-fledged blockbuster series – and Ubisoft‘s most profitable action-adventure game series to date. The original Assassin’s Creed was an enjoyable but repetitive title that, despite a number of fresh and exciting possibilities, relied too heavily on “gamey” side missions (i.e. the timed “capture the flag” missions, among others) to be a must-have experience. However, subsequent entries in the series have successfully fleshed-out the less compelling aspects – creating one of the most recognizable brands in the current console generation.
Assassin’s Creed 3 looks to continue in the same vein of refining the core mechanics but, for players who are tiring of the formula (despite the refinements) and are looking for something entirely different (but set in the same franchise universe), Ubisoft might just be preparing a full-scale Assassin’s versus Templars MMO title.
According to a recent job posting on the Massive Entertainment (an in-house Ubisoft subsidiary) recruiting site, the studio is looking for designers to help craft a next generation MMO – although the ad doesn’t specify whether or not the title will be the long-rumored Assassin’s Creed Online.
While an extensive list of “skills” was posted in the job ad, we’ve pulled a few relevant excerpts which you can read below (or check out the full thing over at Massive Entertainment):
PVP GAME DESIGNER TO NEXT-GEN PROJECT
Are you a word-leading game designer with a burning passion for PVP? Are you looking for a great job in an international team working on a highly ambitious AAA Next-gen Online RPG project. Ubisoft Massive is currently looking for an experienced Game Designer with focus on the Player vs. Player aspects of the game.
Required skills and experience:
- Worked on at least 1 AAA title
- Extended experience developing competitive multiplayer
Additional bonus skills:
- Experience working with iterative development and quick iterations
- Experience developing third-person action games
As mentioned, there were plenty of other skills that Massive is seeking in their ideal candidate; however, the mention of a “AAA title” and “third-person action” gameplay, coupled with prior evidence that the publisher intends to spin Assassin’s Creed into the online world, certainly point to the likelihood of an MMO in the fan-favorite franchise.
The core storyline for an MMO is already in place – the on-going battle between the Templars and the Assassins. It’s a series narrative component that we’ve seen manipulated to tie-in the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Revelations multiplayer modes. As a result, it’s not hard to imagine that Ubisoft would use the feud as the basis for the opposing MMO factions. Not to mention, the cat-and-mouse multiplayer mechanics would serve as an intriguing foundation for a larger open-world online experience.
That said, assuming the MMO is based in the Assassin’s Creed universe, the big question becomes not just where the game would take place but when it would take place as well. Will Ubisoft be taking players back to Renaissance Italy or will the game provide for multiple locations (both in time and geography)? While the notion of different time periods to explore might sound strange at first – it’d be easy enough for the developer to design characters and loot that enjoy the same properties in each setting but change in appearance so they’re not out of place. For example, an Arabian sword could include the same stats but appear as a rapier or katana depending on where (and when) the player is questing. The different geographic locales/historical eras could function similar to the various “worlds” in other MMO’s – while also providing an enticing hook that could set Ubisoft’s title apart from the increasingly overstuffed market for online-only titles.
Of course, at this point, this is entirely speculation – as there’s no concrete evidence that Ubisoft’s MMO is tied-to Assassin’s Creed. Still, you can’t deny that the possibilities are certainly enticing.
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