1666 was going to be the next big thing, according to Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Désilets.
“The first year was to build the team, to study [the historical era], but also to create a new IP.”
Désilets said the project was in pre-production, and that design was focused on mechanics and gameplay first – IP second.
“It was not easy because I was not making a little guy jumping around with swords, and I was not making a shooter. I was trying something different again, to push the boundaries, and the last portion would have been the telling part, the story part of that Amsterdam first game,” he said.
As for what direction the property was going in, Désilets confirmed that it was to be set in Amsterdam, and gave a few slim clues.
“Rembrandt was still alive in 1666, died in 1669. I took one of his most famous paintings, The Philosopher, and put it in the design documents – so I referred to this matter, more or less.”
Désilets created the Assassin’s Creed franchise while working at Ubisoft Montreal. He left the company in 2010 as the founding member of THQ Montreal. Ubisoft seemed shocked by the move, and as Désilets was followed by several colleagues and Ubisoft eventually won an injunction against headhunting to staunch the flow of staff.
THQ Montreal was sold to Ubisoft in THQ’s collapse, and in January Ubisoft expressed satisfaction to have Désilets back on board. By May he was out, and despite Ubisoft’s comments to the contrary, claims to have been fired. 1666 was subsequently suspended, which certainly makes sense if it was a direct competitor to Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed.