As we recently reported, rumors have been swirling there won’t be a major Assassin’s Creed game released this year after the lukewarm response to Assassin’s Creed Unity and Syndicate. Well, today Ubisoft confirmed their neck-stabbing hiatus in a blog post.
“This year, we are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin’s Creed franchise. As a result, we’ve decided that there will not be a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016. Since the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, we’ve learned a lot based on your feedback. 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.”
Ubisoft didn’t specify what they had in store for Assassin’s Creed, but as we reported previously, word is the next game in the series will arrive holiday season 2017, take place in ancient Egypt, and be a reboot of sorts for the franchise.
So, what will Ubisoft do without its premier annual franchise? Ubisoft was quick to reassure fans (and investors) that they have plenty of big games coming out within the next year…
“Ubisoft will launch a very high-quality line-up, including For Honor, South Park the Fractured but Whole, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon WildLands, the next instalment of Watch Dogs, and a new high-potential AAA brand with strong digital live services. Growth also will be driven by further increases in revenues for the digital segment and the back catalog.”
South Park: The Fractured but Whole is coming out in 2016, and the new Watch Dogs is expected to be out before April 2017. More information on Ubisoft’s mysterious new triple-A brand will likely come at E3.
It’s definitely interesting, and encouraging, to see Ubisoft take a brave step off the annualized franchise treadmill. There’s no doubt trying to do an Assassin’s Creed every year has hurt the series, and I’m excited to see what Ubisoft can do with an extra year to tinker and polish. Is this the beginning of the end for annualized franchises? Probably not, as I don’t expect EA and Activision to put the brakes on their Madden and Call of Duty money trains. This is more a case of Assassin’s Creed, a series that never cut out to be an annual franchise, coming to its senses. About bloody time.