As the director of games like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Assassin's Creed, Patrice Desilets is one of the most influential designers in the industry. However, due to a string of unfortunate events, Desilets hasn't been able to release a new game since 2010's Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and has given fans only sporadic updates on his first project with Panache Digital Games as the years have gone by. Today at Reboot Develop 2017, Desilets finally showed off some pre-alpha footage of his next game, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, and also revealed that it will no longer be episodic as originally planned.
As some may recall, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey was meant to be an episodic game, with each episode exploring a different era in human history. However, it seems as though plans changed during development, as Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is now a complete open world game "set between 10 and two million years ago."
Further details on Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey are scarce, though Desilets did hint that the game will include resource management as one of its main features. He also said the game will start in Africa, though it may explore other regions of the world as well as it charts the course of human evolution.
Even though the episodic nature of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey has been abandoned, that doesn't mean that Desilets' overall vision has changed. On the contrary, he referred to the game as "Ancestors 1," hinting that the further stories he had planned will be explored in full-fledged sequels as opposed to bite-sized episodes.
While there's still no release date for Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey in sight, the fact that Desilets is able to share this information and footage of the game is a good sign. Presumably this means that development on the game is right on track, especially since more on it is promised to come before the end of the year.
In the meantime, it remains to be seen if Panache Digital Games will need to partner with a publisher to actually release it. It's hard to say which publisher Desilets would partner with to give Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey a physical release, but after the 1666: Amsterdam controversy, we can almost guarantee that it won't be Ubisoft.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is in development for unspecified platforms.