Ubisoft Annecy has confirmed to VG247 that Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag's multiplayer component won't feature ship combat. You can blame the briny itself.
Despite naval combat being one of the most popular additions to Assassin's Creed 3, ships won't be included in fourth game's multiplayer.
"You have to take into consideration that it took a very big dedicated team in Singapore about two-and-a-half years to do it for the solo [play]," lead multiplayer game designer Tim Browne said, speaking at Ubisoft's Annecy studio.
"In Black Flag it’s even better, but for solo. We’ve looked at it and we’ve considered it. We seriously considered it. We think it would be cool, but at the same time we tried it, and for technical reasons it’s impossible."
Director Damien Kieken added: “One of the big added values of the naval battles in single-player is how they simulate the ocean. The ocean is really a toy. You have big waves, waves that stop your cannon balls: you have to play with the ocean. If you want that to be good in multiplayer, it means we have to perfectly replicate the ocean.”
“Over seven other consoles," Browne said, before Kieken added: “It was one of the big hurdles. We didn’t want to go into that. It definitely wasn’t feasible in the time [we had].”
Browne said that the concept of naval battles also sat in contradiction to Assassin Creed's online play in general.
“We looked at the DNA of multiplayer, and we thought that ship battles aren’t really being the cool assassin. With multiplayer it’s all about you working either as a team of four players or in free-for-all, where you want to be the best player. It’s not so much about piloting a ship and using cannons to destroy the opponent’s ship.”
While no naval combat is to be included in AC4's multiplayer, the Wolfpack co-op mode has been extended over AC3 and a system for creating game modes, Gamelab, will make its debut this year.
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is themed on pirates and set in the Caribbean. It releases this autumn for 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U and PC.
Get more details in this report.