It seems that one studio is no longer enough for the very biggest of games. Yesterday Ubisoft announced that the in development Assassin’s Creed Unity would be created by “collaborative, cross-studio structure between Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Quebec.”
The two studios have long tag-teamed the franchise back and forth, usually also alternating between two and one year gaps between releases, effectively releasing a new title each around every three years.
Of course no single studio makes any open-word triple-A title in the modern era, there being a supporting cast of players, both internally and externally. However a lead studio has usually retained creative control for the process.
Now, Ubisoft is developing the title across both locations (and beyond) as equal partners.
“Rather than continuing to pass the baton from game to game, we profoundly believe this is an opportunity for one of Ubisoft’s most beloved franchises to evolve in a more integrated and collaborative manner that’s less centered on studios and more focused on talent and leadership, no matter where they are within Ubisoft,” said a statement.
Ubisoft has certainly arrayed its biggest creative guns for the joint project. The collaborative structure will be led by Marc-Alexis Côté, the creative director of Syndicate and senior producer on Odyssey. Alongside Ubisoft Montreal’s Étienne Allonier, brand director for Assassin’s Creed for the last 10 years. While production will be overseen by Julien Laferrière, producer on Valhalla. While creative directorship will be shared by Jonathan Dumont and Clint Hocking (with similar roles on Odyssey and WD: Legion respectively).
Ubisoft notes that this change is possible due to the way the pandemic and working from home “has fundamentally changed the way we produce games, giving us a moment to reflect on our organization”
A clever decision in a world now used to globally distributed 24/7 development plans, or a recipe for confusion? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Beyond the new method of production, the title is rumoured to be an ongoing live service title, which will criss-cross multiple time periods and settings.