One of the developers behind the original Assassin’s Creed has revealed the mind-boggling story of how the team at Ubisoft was pressured to add more content to the game – just five days before it launched.
Charles Randall, a former Ubisoft developer who worked on the first Assassin’s Creed as AI lead, detailed the story in a Twitter thread over the weekend.
“the CEO’s kid played it,” Randall’s thread begins with tongue firmly in cheek. While Randall later says he can’t be sure that’s actually what kicked things off, the dev team did receive strangely sudden feedback on the game less than a week before it was scheduled to launch.
The CEO's kid played it https://t.co/0DCT5XaA91
— Charles Randall (@charlesrandall) May 23, 2020
“So we’re all ready to ship the game, first submission goes pretty well, and then…the news…the CEO’s kid played the game and said it was boring and there was nothing to do in the game,” Randall writes.
“Oh yeah I forgot the key part. We have to put all these side missions into the game in five days, and they have to be bug-free, because the build is going to be burned directly to disc and released to retail.”
According to Randall, he and a number of his fellow developers spent five days in the Ubisoft Montreal offices attempting to implement new side content. This would eventually take the form of Assassin’s Creed’s flag collection side quests and missions to hunt down templars.
“Anyway, the rest of it is a blur, but I know that it went super well, because we did it,” Randall said. “We managed to implement all of it in 5 days. And it was bug-free… almost.”
“But I know it’s a miracle that the game didn’t just melt your console or whatever,” he added.
One pretty major bug did slip through, however. In one of the Templar assassination side missions, the target could sometimes fall through the world and disappear. Players who experienced this would not get credit for the kill, which means they would have to start the game over from scratch if they were hoping for a perfect Gamerscore.
“So it turns out one of the Templar were parented to the wrong sector,” Randall said. “If you approached the Templar from the wrong direction, he fell through the world and was despawned. Which didn’t give you credit for the kill, but stored him into the savegame as dead. No more spawning.”
Assassin’s Creed’s next instalment, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, is slated to hit this holiday season. Earlier this month it was confirmed that both the hidden blade and social stealth are making a comeback, which addresses one of Kirk’s hopes for the game.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.