Assassin’s Creed fans “happy” with annual releases

Tuesday, 2 April 2013 04:00 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Ubisoft Montreal boss Yannis Mallat believes Assassin’s Creed fans enjoy the franchise’s yearly release schedule, which gives development teams time off while still delivering fresh product.

Eurogamer asked Mallat whether the yearly release cycle will eventually see fans grow sick of the series.

“No. The players will tell us. Right now there are more and more coming into the franchise, so I don’t see that day. It’s our breakthrough,” he said.

“When you have quality content, the frequency of coming out with the game is not an issue at all. On the contrary, people expect more and more of that content. So it’s natural to be able to provide that content. The gamers are happy and it’s our job to make them happy.”

As detailed in Eurogamer’s article, a high-profile Assassin’s Creed developer once stated that the franchise wouldn’t be annualised because it needs time to “rest” between releases, but Mallat said its the developers who really need to time off, and thanks to Ubisoft’s multi-studio approach, that’s possible even with a new game every year.

“When we say we are annualising the franchise, we don’t say the teams only have one year to work on a project. Assassin’s Creed is mature enough in terms of reaching the critical mass of players and community, but also in terms of envisioning enough content for years to come, and in terms of technology to sustain all that. And more importantly, it’s mature enough in growing the talent and the core teams so we can have several core teams working on the next one and other projects on the brand,” he said.

“That’s why every Assassin’s Creed has one dedicated core team working more than one year on their projects. We call that a roadmap. It takes into account the creative content – the settings, the where and what – the technology and the team.

“We have several teams. So they are resting. The team that has delivered Assassin’s Creed 3, they’re not working on Black Flag. They’re resting. They are refreshing their minds and then working on something else that is not announced.”

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is headed to PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360 on October 29; it’s also coming to PlayStation 4 and other next-generation hardware (Durango, cough cough) but no release date has been set. Ubisoft Toronto is already working on the 2015 release.