Sources say that Ubisoft will pass 2016 by without a major Assassin’s Creed release, followed by the franchise’s return in 2017 with an adventure in ancient Egypt.
Long have core game players proclaimed that the Assassin’s Creed franchise needs to take a year off, a break that would allow Ubisoft to reinvigorate itself and give users a chance to remember what makes the franchise exciting. According to new reports coming from numerous Kotaku sources, Ubisoft may indeed give Assassin’s Creed the year 2016 off. That’s not to say those developers aren’t hard at work, however. The same reports now say that the next Assassin’s Creed will arrive in 2017, taking players to Egypt.
Code named “Empire,” 2017’s Egyptian Assassin’s Creed was originally scheduled to be Ubisoft’s 2016 iteration of the franchise. However, after the poor reception of Assassin’s Creed Unity in 2014, Empire was bumped. 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, on the other hand, was reportedly too far into development to be pushed further back, but it will apparently be the last Assassin’s Creed released under the annual schedule.
While Kotaku has been able to corroborate some details regarding the Egyptian Assassin’s Creed, a number of unconfirmed and uncorroborated details initially came from a series of posts on 4chan. Be warned, these details could be considered light spoilers:
- Ancient Egpyt setting to avoid “historical accuracy,” offers freedom for heavy handed storytelling
- Set prior to all other Assassin’s Creed titles, before the formation of the Assassins and Templars
- Protagonist is a slave/ex-slave that looks like Altair, but with darker skin
- Talks of a protagonist-focused trilogy, like Ezio, with Greece/Rome in the future
- Little to no recycled content beyond animations, seamless world exploration
- Three times the size of Black Flag
Considering 4chan is the source of the anonymous info, it should be clear that the details beyond the Egyptian setting should be considered as unreliable rumors in the extreme.
That being said, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier is reporting that he’s talked to as many as five sources with regard to this information. Through them, the information that the game is set in Egypt, that its code name is Empire, and that the game will launch in 2017, is corroborated. Rome was apparently also mentioned by a source last year, but is not part of the latest rumors. Considering the 4chan posts were made prior to Kotaku going live with this information, it gives credence to the information the anonymous source provided – at least to a degree.
There’s much regarding Ubisoft’s actions in recent memory that is in line with a two-year release schedule for future Assassin’s Creed games. The large push in 2015 and going into 2016 for Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, the trio of side-scrolling games set in China, India and Russia, now makes a lot more sense considering the absence of a major release for 2016. Ubisoft also registered a URL for assassinscreedcollection.com, perhaps implying a remastered collection will release during the holidays. If Ubisoft was going to skip 2016, they’d be wise fill it with other Assassin’s Creed content in order to maintain brand recognition.
And don’t forget about that Michael Fassbender Assassin’s Creed movie, either.
All that aside, an extra year of development offers Ubisoft the opportunity to rebuild positivity around Assassin’s Creed. Even when a solid installment in the franchise like Syndicate gets released, the consumer frustration and weariness from previous years still lingers. Game players so often will say, “I’m interested in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate,” and then follow it with, “but Unity…” Maybe a year off will give Ubisoft the opportunity to surprise us again.
More information regarding Assassin’s Creed “Empire” is likely months, if not more than a year off. Is this or is this not exactly what Assassin’s Creed needs?