Assassin’s Creed is changing. The historical gaming franchise has never been afraid of development, whether it’s jumping through time periods or transitioning from stealth action games to more of an RPG. But developer Ubisoft’s next big project, Assassin’s Creed Infinity, could represent a seismic turnaround for the franchise, with the potential to fundamentally change how the series works.
A Bloomberg report reveals that, to an extent verified by developer Ubisoft since then, Assassin’s Creed Infinity is set to piece together future entries in the franchise through ‘live service’ elements. Is this a cause for excitement or concern for AC fans? Read on to find out.
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‘Forever’ Assassin’s Creed Game?
While Ubisoft has confirmed the existence of Assassin’s Creed Infinity, it has yet to confirm what exactly it will be. So, what follows is a well-informed run-down based on our own estimates based on Bloomberg’s report above and our understanding of the situation.
Assassin’s Creed Infinity won’t be a new Assassin’s Creed game — or, at least, it won’t be a standalone entry like Assassin’s Creed Vahalla. Instead, it will be a futuristic platform that will tie all aspects of the series together into multiple games.
As a ‘live service’ (for example, a gaming title that is constantly updated and developed with challenges and new content), Infinity is expected to be a central hub-like destination for series fans. The new games will launch on Assassin’s Creed Infinity (or Support), tying together games set in different time periods. As new eras are released, or expansions are created, they will likely be added to Assassin’s Creed Infinity, perhaps with a broader story or goal that will integrate the experience.
The franchise already has an underlying narrative that ties each game together. In the games, players are able to access the past through a device called the Animus, which uses ancestral information to recreate the times of the past. Nothing can stop Ubisoft from using Animus as the central hook through which Assassin’s Creed Infinity ties all these different time periods together, while also feeding new material drip into the mix.
In practice, it may work just like the recently released Hitman 3. With that title, IO Interactive was able to retroactively pull all three of its Hitman Trilogy games together into one package, while constantly adding new kill contracts to keep players coming back for more. Given that this was a retrospective decision, we expect Ubisoft to have a clear ongoing roadmap for how titles designed with Infinity in mind will interact and reflect each other – Marvel The gaming equivalent of the Cinematic Universe.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see that Infinity feature some sort of interactive hub area, set in the series’ modern day setting, with a selection of animus equipment you can dive into as many games from Ubisoft as you like. Huh. Development Team.
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Who is working on Assassin’s Creed Infinity?
Rather than a solo offshoot effort of Ubisoft, the company has confirmed that the project will be a collaboration between several in-house studios around the world.
Ubisoft has outlined Infinity under the leadership of at least two teams each run by two creative directors. Clint Hawking (Splinter Cell and Watch Dogs Legion) will lead a team based out of Ubisoft Montreal, while Jonathan Dumont (Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Odyssey), will lead the crew at Ubisoft Quebec.
These two teams, and the games they produced, would eventually be overseen by Marc-Alexis Cote, who becomes the executive producer of the entire Assassin’s Creed series. One of Ubisoft’s top dogs and a senior member of the Ubisoft Quebec team, Cte has served on Brotherhood and Syndicate before moving to higher leadership positions at the company.
“Rather than continuing to play the baton from game to game, we deeply believe this is an opportunity to grow one of Ubisoft’s most beloved franchises in a more integrated and collaborative way that focuses less on studios and more on talent and leadership. more focused, no matter where they are within Ubisoft.” reads an open letter Signed by Ubisoft Quebec Managing Director Nathalie Bouchard and Ubisoft Montreal Managing Director Christophe Darens.
“Most importantly, Assassin’s Creed has always been developed by multicultural teams with different backgrounds and perspectives that have influenced the portrayal of its characters, places and cultures. While we know there is always room for improvement, ours. We believe this new structure allows us to ensure that diversity and representation within our teams continues to grow and our players continue to match.”
a historical precedent
We’ve seen over the years that Assassin’s Creed games gradually become somewhat more connected to single-player games, and a bit more fluid in terms of how the content is layered on each successive release.
First, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood added competitive multiplayer to the mix, while Black Flag added a fleet-management meta-game that’ll continue to play while you’re away from your console. Assassin’s Creed Unity boldly (if not entirely successfully) experimented with cooperative multiplayer missions, while Origins offered weekly challenges for players. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey expands its story with monthly content releases, while the latest game, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, will be the first to see its campaign expanded with two years of downloadable content support.
With hundreds of years of history to play for, you can see why Ubisoft would choose its Assassin’s Creed franchise to explore the ever-growing live service gaming arena. Its DLC packs and online add-ons have proven that the company can create engaging post-launch content for titles, breaking out of fast-paced and costly development cycles.
How we get to Infinity will be an interesting reveal to see – is this just the beginning of the transition to Assassin’s Creed as a Service, like an MMO? An Xbox Game Pass genre platform specifically for Assassin’s Creed titles with a connecting interactive tissue between games? Or maybe the Season Pass is a premium take on the model that’s proven so appealing to the likes of Fortnite. For once it seems appropriate to put an end to that old adage – Only time will tell.
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