The Assassins and Templars are taking a break from killing each other in 2016. Since 2009, Ubisoft has released a new Assassin’s Creed game every year. That yearly-trend comes to an end today as Ubisoft confirms an earlier Kotaku report.
“This year, we also are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin’s Creed franchise,” reads a Ubisoft blog post. That’s a sentence I couldn’t imagine Ubisoft writing just a few years ago.
What happened? Assassin’s Creed Unity happened. Unity became meme fodder for the internet thanks to hilarious graphical bugs and glitches.
The publisher admits Unity was the catalyst for the decision to not release 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’ve also updated our development processes and recommitted to making Assassin’s Creed a premier open-world franchise. 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.”
It’s not easy to admit you messed up. You have to give Ubisoft props for this decision.
“Evolve the game mechanics,” has me excited. The Witcher 3 became the pinnacle of open-world gaming last year. CD Projekt Red delivered a fantastic game, and I (and many gamers) want to see similar quality from other developers moving forward.
The perfect time to skip a year
Ubisoft picked the perfect moment to give Assassin’s Creed a breather. In the company’s third-quarter financial report, we get a look at what Ubisoft’s offerings will be over the next year.
Here’s what’s coming before April 2017.
– Watch Dogs 2 – For Honor
– South Park: The Fractured But Whole
– Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
– And “a new high-potential AAA brand with strong digital live services.” No extra details were given.
Even without Assassin’s Creed, that’s a pretty damn good lineup.
A new Ubisoft
You can tell there’s been a shift at Ubisoft. Look at Rainbow Six: Siege. Ubisoft and their developers were open about the development process the whole way. Some of their decisions were not embraced (lack of significant single-player), but they recaptured the tactical shooter crowd on consoles. Great post-launch support and free DLC is keeping the player base engaged.
Ubisoft is doing the same with The Division. Recently, a closed beta for the loot shooter wrapped up. The developer soaked in player feedback and fixed many of the issues ahead of next week’s open beta.
Ubisoft believes in their games and is giving us every opportunity to do the same ahead of each launch. On February 18, everyone will have a chance to try out The Division. You’ll get to play through a couple of story missions and dive back into the Dark Zone. It should be enough to tell you if The Division is a game you want or not.
Assassin’s Creed needs a breather, and I’m glad Ubisoft agrees. I probably already know what you think of this news, so what features would you like to see in the next Assassin’s Creed?