As expected at this time of year, Ubisoft kept up their annualised tradition of having a “leak” of information about upcoming franchise releases; but this one had a little bit of a twist!
This week’s data breach suggests that the normally annualised Assassin’s Creed game will be taking a bit of a hiatus for 2016 and returning with a game set in Egypt in late 2017. Sources close to KOTAKU claim that Ubisoft decided to push back the release of their next game following the debacle of 2014’s release of Unity. By allowing the extra room, the development team are hoping that they will be able to improve and amend some of the faults which even the most hard-core of AC fans have been identifying for years. Currently code named Empire, Jason Schreier (of Kotaku) claims to have rumours confirmed from several independent sources who claim to have intimate knowledge of the inner workings at the developer of upcoming titles such as Far Cry Primal and The Division.
If the rumours do turn out to be true, could this be the next mistake in the ever unfolding downfall of a revered universe?
As an avid fan of the AC universe I can share in the equal amount of joy and frustration which the likes of Ezio, Altair and Kenway have brought to my beloved PlayStation. On one hand the inclination to take a breath from the franchise and iron out some of the discernible problems which have arisen with grappling and frame rates to name but two. But is this the wrong time to do so?
The Assassin’s Creed film starring Michael Fassbender is due for release in December of this year and although it won’t be directly linked to the games, it will take place in the same universe. By not releasing a game prior to the film, are Ubisoft missing out on a large amount of advertising by not coupling the two together?!
It should be noted however that this doesn’t mean that Ubisoft will leave their October launch window empty; further rumours circulating that the next chapter in the Watch Dogs series could be a possible release to fill the void. But with the similarities of game play between AC and WD, who’s to say that actually that it isn’t already a part of the same universe? The complete ‘modern day’ version of what AC has been portraying through slithers of history. A controversial statement none the less, but I am personally a fan of the AC lore which accompanies the reverence of the historical playgrounds which are created for enjoyment so to see the two finally intertwine at some point is intriguing.
All in all 2016 is going to be a huge year for AC- not only with its movie release but also with a possible change in philosophy towards its releases. Could a Hollywood blockbuster prove to be the saving grace of a franchise which has so nearly tittered over the edge? Only time (or the use of an Animus) will tell.
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