It’s been a wild week for Ubisoft and the Assassin’s Creed franchise, with speculation having recently been put to rest as the gaming juggernaut releases more information about the next major installment, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.

While Ubisoft’s hand may have been forced since a plethora of information was leaked several days ago, they have come forward and addressed several major aspects of the upcoming game. As more announcements come trickling in, Ubisoft has been both announcing and denouncing various features that have been speculated upon — namely, multiplayer battles.

While the idea of pirate-themed Assassin’s Creed may for some players cue up visions of exciting ship battles — not to mention the Pirates of the Caribbean theme — Ubisoft has put the kibosh on that thought altogether. In a recent interview withCVG, lead content manager Carsten Myhill explained the direction towards an “open-world pirate experience” has taken precedence over multiplayer naval battles.

“We’re going to be communicating big on multiplayer in the coming weeks. However, what I can say is that unfortunately we won’t be doing naval multiplayer for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. The reason for [the lack of multiplayer naval battles] is that we really wanted to take it to the next level for an open-world pirate experience, and all our effort has gone into that. Of course, it would be really great, but sadly not.” – Carsten Myhill, Lead Content Manager, Ubisoft

However specific this statement may be towards multiplayer naval battles, there still remains the possibility for epic single-player combat that should whet the appetite of any series fans looking to pump their victims full of cannonballs. Also exciting is the promise of more mutliplayer details, and with the omission of a much-desired ship combat system between players in mind, Ubisoft must have something equally big planned for Black Flag.

In a recently discovered internal Q&A found by All Games Beta, creative director Jean Guesdon briefly addresses a “connected” single-player mode that will be featured in next-gen versions of Black Flag. With four of the six studios responsible for the game working solely on single-player content, it seems a lot will be added to present and next-generation versions.

“Next-gen versions will bring to the players new, connected features allowing them to feel that even if they remain ‘single-player’, it will be better to be a ‘single connected player’. I mean that next-gen consoles will allow players to have a solo experience that benefits the presence of a huge community.” – Jean Guesdon, Creative Director, Ubisoft

No further details about the upcoming system have been made available as of yet, but it’s safe to say Ubisoft aims to change the way the Assassin’s Creed franchise is experienced in next-generation systems — an update that is very necessary as the recently-announced Sony PlayStation 4 pushes for a more social gaming experience than its predecessors have provided.

Ranters: Do you believe “single connected player” features, and ultimately a more finely tuned open-world pirate experience will make up for the lack of a multiplayer naval combat system? Let us know in the comment section below! Whatever else Ubisoft has up its sleeve for the award-winning franchise, Game Rant will be ready to report on it.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is currently in development by six Ubisoft studios: Montreal, Singapore, Sofia and Québec working on single-player content; and Annecy and Bucharest developing multiplayer.

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Sources: CVG, AGB