When one observes just how much of a game-making machine Ubisoft has created over the past decade, it’s easy to think that the French publisher (and the leadership at its Montreal studio) has game development down to a science. But even when a franchise becomes are large and successful as Assassin’s Creed, somebody still has to keep it moving forward in the intended direction.
One of those people is Assassin’s Creed‘s brand content manager, Jean Guesdon. In a recent interview, Guesdon reveals that even if the future seems bright, it’s still largely an unknown. But that isn’t keeping the company from taking some significant risks with the knowledge that some lessons won’t be easily learned.
Having worked on both Assassin’s Creed 2 directly and the larger franchise as a whole, Jean Guesdon explains in an interview with Game Informer that while a game franchise’s success may seem due to a number of well-made games keeping players impressed, there’s just as much work going on behind the scenes. And when looking back at the experience that the first Assassin’s Creed offered, making it to the impending launch of the next-gen Unity was anything but guaranteed.
Even though focusing on the present development of the AC franchise – ranging from Unity and Rogue to the multiple tie-in social games, graphic novels, and the in-development feature film – could seem like a handful, those in charge of the brand’s future are already thinking ahead. For Guesdon, that means a need to view the brand from a distance.
There are sure to be some fans – even devoted ones – who will prefer that Ubisoft restrict its focus to game development, and leave behind delusions of grandeur, or their aspirations for becoming a ‘trans-media entertainment provider.’ But the reality of the situation is that the larger audience has made it clear that games are just one type of doorway into the world of Assassins and Templars that they crave. We saw up close how the company’s Ubi Workshop is blurring the line between in-game assets and those decorating the homes of their players, allowing them to quite literally clothe themselves in their favorite game’s fiction.
There’s no real telling how far that practice will go, and how successful it will prove in both the short and long term. Luckily, Guesdon seems to maintain that the heart of the brand is still the games themselves, with all other elements working to support and expand that narrative. Since the narrative is what seems to engage the series’ most committed fans, it’s a good place to start.
Do you think that Ubisoft’s approach is the way of the future for AAA game publishers? As more video games are adapted into film, does it seem inevtiable for the property owners to weave their story across multiple media? Be sure to share your thoughts and concerns with us in the comment below.
Assassin’s Creed Unity releases October 28, 2014 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Game Informer