The decision to drop a potential 2016 mainline release in the Assassin’s Creed series could signify a longer-term strategical shift.
Ubisoft confirmed earlier this month that it was taking a step back to evaluate the future of the series. Games Industry reports that now boss Yves Guillemot has said at an investor day that the decision may not be a one-off.
"The goal is not to automatically come back to an annual cycle, but to come back on a regular basis," he said. "We can't say every year."
Speaking to investors earlier this month, Guillemot acknowledged that the most recent Assassin’s Creed, AC: Syndicate, had a slower launch than it expected. Indeed, despite hitting No.1 in the UK at launch in October, Syndicate fell well short of all previous main entries in the series.
It has been presumed that gamers were holding off to ensure that the game didn’t suffer from the same technical hiccups as its predecessor, AC: Unity.
“This year, we are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin’s Creed franchise,” the publisher explained in a blog post. “As a result, we’ve decided that there will not be a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016.
“Since the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, we’ve learned a lot based on your feedback. We’ve also updated our development processes and recommitted to making Assassin’s Creed a premier open-world franchise. We’re taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.”