Ubiquitous Software, better known as Ubisoft, announced today that they would be skipping the annual release of Assassin’s Creed this year citing fan feedback as the primary reason. But is that all?
Love it or hate it, the next entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, code named Empire, isn’t coming out until 2017. For a series that has thrived on annual releases since 2009 it seems a little strange for Ubisoft to move it’s flagship franchise to the back burner, but it can’t hurt to stand back and reevaluate the state of the series for another twelve months. After all, we haven’t just received numerical entries every year, but also three side scrolling 2D titles and there’s a movie in the works.
Additionally, Assassin’s Creed Unity presented everyone with something that looked like it had just crawled out of a nightmare thanks to an overwhelming amount of bugs and glitches.
Can buggy issues and strong feedback from fans be the only thing at work causing Ubisoft to hide their cash cow in a bail of hay for a year or are there other forces at work? Let’s speculate on two other possibilities.
1. Far Cry Primal
With a release date around the corner, Far Cry Primal is the first up on the list of reasons we may not be stepping into the Animus this year. Since taking over the development of the series in 2005 from Crytek, Far Cry has seen consistent success with every new release and seems to be on the trend of a more annual release pattern
|2005||Far Cry Instincts|
|2006||Far Cry Instincts: Evolution|
Far Cry Instincts: Predator
Far Cry Vengeance
|2008||Far Cry 2|
|2012||Far Cry 3|
|2013||Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon|
|2014||Far Cry 4|
|2016||Far Cry Primal|
The Far Cry series maybe looming on the horizon to topple Assassin’s Creed as the King of the Annual Rock but seeing as that Far Cry is developed solely by Ubisoft’s Montreal studio and Assassin’s Creed is worked on by a multitude of studios it seems unlikely.
2. The Division
The Division already has one beta under it’s belt and has another on on the way starting in late February. If the latest patch notes for that beta are any indication, the development team is taking great care with the final tweaks it can make before release.
As with Destiny, The Division requires constant man power and Ubisoft will want to make sure its foray into the MMO-Lite territory has a smooth launch and continued support to keep its community alive and thriving. The hype for the up coming Tom Clancy branded title is real and has been since its original announcement at E3 2013. It may have been worth it for the powers that be to skip AC this year to better focus their resources to keep players shooting, looting, and betraying each other to ensure The Division’s success.
Whatever the reason, the fact that Assassin’s Creed is taking year off is a good thing; a great thing even. It gives the creators time to work on other projects and then return to the series with a fresh perspective and recharged batteries which is good for everyone who loves playing games.
How do you feel about not getting an Assassin’s Creed entry this year? Let me know in the comments.