For the first time in almost a decade, there will not be an Assassin’s Creed game released this year.
That’s the news from Ubisoft, which revealed that the blockbuster historical stealth franchise would be taking a breather to rebuild its core gameplay.
Ubisoft Montreal has traditionally led development on the main instalments in the series since its self-titled debut in 2007, assisted by an array of Ubisoft studios in Sofia, Milan, Quebec, Toronto and Annecy.
Last year’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate marked the first major entry to be led by a studio other than Montreal, with Ubisoft Quebec helming the London-set title.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue, the PS3 and Xbox 360 game released in 2014 alongside Assassin’s Creed Unity on PS4 and Xbox One, was developed by Ubisoft Sofia.
“This year, we also are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin’s Creed franchise,” Ubisoft announced 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.”
However, Assassin’s Creed won’t be completely absent from 2016 – a motion picture starring Michael Fassbender is due for release in the summer, with rumours of remastered versions of older games also circulating.