For those of you who were worried that Ubisoft might adopt the ‘Call of Duty’ route with its popular stealth series Assassin’s Creed, you can rest assured: Ubisoft has confirmed that the series won’t be getting a 2011 release, that the series needs a breather, and so it’ll be taking a sabbatical of sorts.
Ubisoft Montreal’s Jean-Francois Boivin said the popular stealth-em-up needs a “breather” following the release of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood later this year.
“Honestly, I think for the benefit of everybody – and business can come back and override everything I say because at the end of the day it’s about selling games – I believe that this license needs a breather. You can’t plough a field every year. Once every three years – or once every something – you have to let it breathe. You have to let the minerals back in. I think it’s the same thing with any license, really.
“We can see a lot of the music games that are releasing year after year – the interest is a lot less than it used to be. The excitement is a lot less than it used to be. You want to keep people excited. You gotta make people miss it a bit. It’s like, ‘Oh man! I’m so happy it’s back!’ But if you keep force-feeding to people then people are like, ‘Yeah, enough of your Assassin’s Creed’.
“I don’t think there’s going to be an Assassin’s Creed in 2011. I think we’re going to let it breathe a bit and really focus on bringing something new and exciting for the next time around. This [Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood] is the end of Ezio’s story. This is it.”
Asked about just how long the ‘break’ will be, Boivin had this to say:
“I really don’t know. Bottom line, it’s not for me to say. We have some business people that will eventually put a date and say, ‘This needs to come out’. We have our creative people, who are also pushing on their end, saying, ‘We need this much time to do something new and refreshing, just scope wise’. So I don’t know how much time we’ll need.
“If we skip a year, I think we’re good. But yeah, I think we could do something really true to the license if we skip a year and release it in 2012 or 2013. We need to keep it fresh though; we need to keep it relatively close by, because we have to keep the interest there. I don’t think we do a service to this license if we pull a Duke Nukem on people, you know what I’m saying? It’s hard to answer.”
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood can possibly be equated to the series’ own Four Swords Adventures, or even New Super Mario Bros, given the extensive focus on multiplayer that Ubisoft is touting. The game, they insist, is not a full fledged sequel, but rather can be seen as an Assassin’s Creed 2.5 of sorts. It’s due for release later this year on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.