Assassin’s Creed 3, Far Cry 4 creative director exits Ubisoft, reminds us both franchises have gone very quiet

By Brenna Hillier, Monday, 10 April 2017 06:55 GMT

The Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry teams are down another body.

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Assassin’s Creed 3 and Far Cry 4 creative director Alex Hutchinson has announced his departure from Ubisoft Montreal.

Hutchinson has teamed up with an old EA Montreal colleague, producer Reid Schneider, to launch Typhoon Studios. The indie has no announced projects as yet.

Schneider’s credits include Mad Max, Batman: Arkham Knight and Batman: Arkham Origins. Both developers worked on Army of Two before moving on to other Montreal studios.

That’s the end of that story but it suddenly occurs to us to wonder what Ubisoft is getting up to; Hutchinson hasn’t got any Ubisoft credits since 2014’s Far Cry 4, but surely he was working on something. But what? Assassin’s Creed has gone on holiday, and we haven’t heard a peep from the other biggie since Far Cry Primal.

You probably expect a reveal at E3 2017 and a short PR cycle, but Ubisoft has said we may not see a new Assassin’s Creed in 2017. This comes after the publisher agreed Ubisoft needs more time for each Assassin’s Creed game in the wake of Assassin’s Creed Unity’s poor reception in 2014, moving to a Call of Duty-like two-team cycle with 2015’s Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate before finally cancelling the annual plan altogether last year.

We’re not altogether saddened to see Assassin’s Creed going back to the drawing board for a bit, but it does leave Ubisoft without a tentpole franchise, which is unusual. Maybe those Assassin’s Creed Empire rumours will bear fruit in June? We’ve had a purported Assassin’s Creed Empire screenshot and European retailers seem to believe. If not, perhaps Far Cry will pop up with something for holiday 2017.

What else can Ubisoft bring to E3 2017? A stack of For Honor content would be good for the online brawler, which has rapidly fallen from grace rather than living up to the standard set by Rainbow Six Siege. It seems too early for a sequel to The Division given a second season has been announced, and we’re definitely too close to Watch Dogs 2, Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Steep for new entries.

That leaves South Park: The Fractured but Whole, still without a release date, and the vaporous Beyond Good & Evil 2, which may or may not be in actual production.

Neither seem good bets for that end of year release slot, though. No doubt Ubisoft will have something else to surprise us with, and perhaps it’ll be something with Hutchinson’s fingerprints on it.

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