Ubisoft announces a VR “experience” for Assassin’s Creed to be released later this year, but it will be movie-related rather than tied to the game franchise.
It’s an odd feeling knowing there’s going to be no major Assassin’s Creed title released in 2016, but 2016 is an odd year in general. Even the prospective launch of a new Nintendo platform is being overwhelmed by the debut of high-end VR headsets for PC and PlayStation 4. Embracing the oddity of it all, Ubisoft helped announce today that there’s still something Assassin’s Creed related for later this year – a “VR experience.”
Yet even this VR experience, whatever exactly it turns out to be, isn’t what it seems at first. Firstly, it isn’t a game. Ubisoft has confirmed that it’s only interactive via a VR headset, not a controller. In fact, it’s not even Ubisoft that’s producing it, that task falls to Fox and Practical Magic. Naturally, whatever the studio is planning won’t be related to the video games at all. It will be associated with the upcoming Assassin’s Creed film.
Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender as the film’s titular past-diving assassin, is planned for release in theaters starting on December 21. Considering there’s no game to help build hype for the movie, expect this VR experience to launch around a similar time. That way it will serve as general marketing, as well as a tie in to the gaming community.
Who knows how impactful this VR experience will end up being, however. After all, virtual reality is going to be a niche market for a while yet. That said, Fox will likely target low-end VR headsets like the GearVR or even Google’s Cardboard in order to get this VR experience out to the public. Considering that point, the experience may very well end up being free. Perhaps something along the lines of a trailer, but in VR.
Success as a marketing technique withstanding, the idea of a VR experience to go hand in hand with an Assassin’s Creed movie is exciting. After all, the premise of Assassin’s Creed in the first place is for someone to use technology in order to experience the lives of their ancestors. Being able to put on a VR headset and travel into a virtual Assassin’s Creed experience will be rather… meta.
For gamer’s specifically, perhaps it’s best to maintain an amount of skepticism here. Remember that this is not Ubisoft creating this VR experience, but rather the movie studio that licensed Assassin’s Creed.
And this is Fox we’re talking about. They’re not particularly well known for showing much respect to their licensed properties (looking at you, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man). The team at Ubisoft may find they gambled the Assassin’s Creed brand on a movie and didn’t come out ahead in 2017.
Assassin’s Creed, the movie, will be released on December 21 later this year. The VR experience to accompany the movie will also be released later this year.