For almost a decade, gamers have been able to count on a new game in the Assassin’s Creed series to release every year in the fall. This year will be a different story, however, and as it turns out there’s a chance that Assassin’s Creed may never return to the strict annual release schedule it has been on since Assassin’s Creed 2 released in 2009.
We already knew that the annual release streak for the franchise would be broken when Ubisoft confirmed last week that there would be no new main series Assasssin’s Creed game in 2016. However, it’s clear now that the company is completely reevaluating the way it deals with the franchise, especially now that it may never return to its previous annual release cycle.
As explained by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot during Ubisoft Investor Day:
“The goal is not automatically to come back on annual cycle but to come on a regular basis. We saw it was time to give it lots of time so [developers] could really work on the property and all the mechanics to make sure we could take [the series] to another level. What we are seeing today is promising. We will be able to come on a regular basis [but] we can’t say every year.”
So while Ubisoft is not completely closing the door on the possibility of Assassin’s Creed games returning to their annual release schedules, it looks like it’s taking a “wait and see” approach to the matter. Since Assassin’s Creed is Ubisoft’s bread and butter, it makes sense for the company to do whatever it can to protect its reputation, and if the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate weak sales are any indication, the annual releases caused franchise fatigue for gamers.
Hardcore Assassin’s Creed enthusiasts shouldn’t fret, however. Even though it’s a possibility that there won’t be a new main series Assassin’s Creed game released every year, it’s not like the franchise won’t have a consistent presence in popular culture. In fact, 2016 has actually seen the release of two separate Assassin’s Creed spin-off games already.
Furthermore, the franchise is branching out into film and novels. Ubisoft plans on releasing young adult novels set in the Assassin’s Creed universe this fall, and the Assassin’s Creed feature film is scheduled for release this year as well. Moreover, Ubisoft feels as though the fact that there will be no new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016 will actually help the Assasssin‘s Creed movie be successful at the box office.
All things considered, giving the Assassin’s Creed series a break in 2016 seems like it will help the franchise in the long run. It will give the development teams more time to iron out any issues, and avoid a catastrophic launch like was the case with Assassin’s Creed Unity. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so it will be especially exciting to see what Ubisoft is able to cook up for the series over the next couple of years.
The most recent game in the series, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.