After over a week on sales, the evidence shows that there can no longer be any doubts - Ubisoft has a serious franchise on their hands. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood has not only managed to achieve dominant UK sales numbers selling over a million copies , but did so with the third title in its Assassin's Creed series. It would seem that the momentum around Ubisoft's assassin adventures is only growing and the company's chief of sales and marketing has revealed that fans hungry for more major releases will only have to wait a year for another dose.
Ubisoft's Geoffroy Sardin told MCV that the jump in sales from Assassin's Creed 2 to Brotherhood is an incredible one, even more so due to its competition, Call of Duty: Black Ops. Assassin's Creed had a stranglehold on the sales of its release week, coming second only to Black Ops, but garnering more sales than any previous title in the series.
The multiplayer portion added to the game for Brotherhood was a significant addition for many fans and a way of bringing new players into the mix, but Sardin sees the move as a major factor in the game's success. Skeptics of the franchise's fan base's ability to adopt an entirely new game mode seem to have been proven wrong, as Ubisoft research shows that 60% of the game's community are engaging in online multiplayer:
“The multiplayer mode attracts new players — when we track who is playing the multiplayer we can se they are new to the franchise,
It is the first time we have added such a big multiplayer mode to an action franchise — but we’re seeing people play a lot and regularly, so clearly they do enjoy it. The activity on forums is very happy."
That level of activity is nothing short of astounding, given that none of the previous AC titles had anything but a single player campaign, but Sardin points out that the company is no stranger to online multiplayer. Not only do the statistics show that multiplayer is alive and breathing in Assassin's Creed for now at least, but Sardin also hints that this success may be leading to more experimentation with future games:
“But of course we have a good history and expertise with multiplayer — in Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell — so we knew what we were doing. There are other franchises that would benefit from that, but I can’t say which ones just now. The next big multiplayer game for us is Ghost Recon - that will be massive.”
Ubisoft has made the message clear that they stood behind Brotherhood prior to launch, and will continue to support their most successful title to date with the best quality DLC they can produce. The future is obviously bright for the series, but while Ubisoft's statements that Brotherhood would change the series forever seem to have proven true, we never stopped to think what this game's success would mean for other games made by the developer. A new 'Advanced Alliance' multiplayer mode in the next Ghost Recon? We'll have to wait and see.
The biggest news of the interview - at least, to fans of AC - came when Sardin clarified statements made by Ubisoft's CFO and CEO that there would be some type of Assassin's Creed game in the next fiscal year. The two didn't provide further details, but Sardin decided to set the record straight:
“Yes, Yves [Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO] mentioned it last week in our financials — and more details will be forthcoming. But what I can say is that next year we will have another big Assassin’s Creed game.”
So there you have it, a new Assassin's Creed game is absolutely arriving in the next fiscal year. Since Brotherhood was first viewed by many as an expansion to AC2, yet went on to impress reviewers (check out our review here) and sell incredibly well, it's hard to imagine a new Assassin's Creed that wouldn't be "big."
So while we can spend hours thinking of what we'd want to see in the next Assassin's Creed, we can rest easy knowing that we'll find out by this time next year, if Ubisoft sticks to their November release window. Let the speculation begin on whether this new title will be the culmination of protagonist Desmond's story in Assassin's Creed 3, or a new chapter in the game's mythology.
Until next year Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will have to suffice, available now for the Xbox 360 and PS3.