Well 2016 is here, and so far there has been nary a word about Assassin’s Creed, when usually around this time we would be dripping in all the blood soaked details of the historic action adventure series. That’s because there will be no Assassin’s Creed this year girls and boys, Ubisoft is taking a year off to give a serious sit down and think as to the future of the franchise.
Or rather, let me be a bit more specific. Ubisoft is still going to look to collect your money bucks with Assassin’s Creed platformer spin offs, comic books and a feature film that Michael Fassbender compares to the first Matrix, (his words, not mine). However as for an actual open world sandbox console entry? There will be nada, zilch, nothing and jack squat.
In a letter released to the public on Thursday, The Assassin’s Creed team had this to share:
This year, we also 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’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.
This of course looks great. It’s exactly what the fans have been asking for quite some time, a retreat from the ridiculous, possibly Call of Duty inspired “annual” approach to developing the Assassin’s Creed games. Ubisoft putting the brakes on the franchise to really examine how to make the video game a genre defining champion once again. Assassin’s Creed: Unity released to lukewarm critical reception and massive fan disappointment. The title itself carried a ton of game breaking bugs and rather unsavory microtransactions and alternate reality interactivity that made the entire Unity experience fairly uncomfortable. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was forced to scale back on the size of the game world and the graphics in order to make sure the title ran properly, while traditional gameplay mechanics were simplified in an attempt to avoid terrain and gameplay bugs. Despite Syndicate’s warmer audience response, the title suffered the second worst sales in the franchise history.
Our own website’s history with Assassin’s Creed has been long and sordid. Each iteration of the game has bounced between editors like a troubled animal looking for kindly adopters. Jared found Unity to be quite the disappointment, while I was completely underwhelmed by Syndicate, with plenty of other downers in between. It wasn’t all bad however; we did manage to get Gustavo’s Creed out of it. There’s no doubt that this is a franchise that has run out of energy and inspiration, with teams of people that for one reason or the other haven’t been able to address some of the game’s simplest and most archaic problems. A year off from the franchise, even more, sounds exactly like the doctor ordered. That said Ubisoft also has some of the best PR in the world, and they manage to make pigeon shit appear as if an egg from the golden goose.
It would be wonderful if Assassin’s Creed came back better than ever before. That exciting new science-fiction title that made us fall in love with it somewhere between 2 and Brotherhood and where the honeymoon was over for many of us around 3 and Black Flag. Whatever comes in Assassin’s Creed future, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that it gets the franchise back on the right track. I miss you Assassin’s Creed. I really do.