In accordance with previous reports, Ubisoft has announced plans to place Assassin’s Creed on a one-year hiatus, with the core dev team now “stepping back and re-examining the franchise” to prepare for a 2017 release.
As a result, for the first time in seven years 2016 will not herald a new entry in the tentpole franchise, despite that fact that Ubisoft Motion Pictures’ live-action feature film – one starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard – is still poised to take flight in December.
“We’ve also updated our development processes and recommitted to making Assassin’s Creed a premier open-world franchise,” the company stated. “We’re taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.”
While it’s understood that plans to forgo a 2016 release were on the cards for some time, the publisher’s third-quarter financial reports revealed that last year’s Syndicate experienced a “slower launch than expected,” which may have filtered into the final decision.
Looking further afield, those reports that first indicated Ubisoft’s change of tact claimed that the next Assassin’s Creed, now due in 2017, will be code-named Empire and take place in ancient Egypt. Moreover, it’s set to be the start of an entirely new trilogy, with each installment hopping between famous periods in history in a way that’s defined the franchise since its inception in 2007.
It’s official: Ubisoft won’t release new installment in the Assassin’s Creed timeline in 2016. Despite releasing in 2014, Unity has clearly had a marked effect on the studio’s output, but what are your thoughts on the franchise overhaul?