The event took place last weekend. Ubisoft Forward. In the presentation, the French developer finally gave something to talk about after a fairly silent year and poor launches. Obviously the main attraction of the transmission was the jewel in the crown of Ubi, Assassin’s Creed. The memorable saga of assassins turned 15 this 2022 and in all that time it has had its ups and downs. Now, after two years since its last released installment, the franchise shared a lot of its plans for the future.
First things first and it is important to quickly remember everything announced. By 2023 it was announced with great fanfare Assassin’s Creed Mirage. The rumors were confirmed and this game will be a return to the origins of the franchise. For several installments, the community of followers had begun to feel a distance from the main mechanics of the saga, such as stealth. With a trailer clearly paying homage to Assassin’s Creed II, Mirage promises to pamper fans of the franchise. No open world, no endless hours of gameplay or RPG mechanics. Simply a linear story, concise and with the characteristic parkour and stealth murders.
Later things got interesting and the project was finally made official. Assassin’s Creed Infinity. Initial hype aside, AC Infinity is as much a hefty bet as it is a coin toss. Basically it is a ‘platform’ that seeks to put the franchise at the forefront of industry market trends. That is, a video game as a service. Ironically, they presented a title to honor the past of the saga and another to put it at the forefront.
Along with Infinity, up to four more projects were announced (not counting the series in collaboration with Netflix). The riskiest bet is Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade. This title will be set in ancient China, it will be open world, AAA and for mobile devices. Such audacity can go very well or terribly wrong. With this, Ubisoft reaffirms its intention to enter the mobile gaming market. Now it is also worth highlighting one point. Coincidentally, this mobile game will be set in China when the largest market for mobile games is precisely China. Although it has a similar name, for now it is not very clear if Codename Jade will have any relationship with Infinity.
On the other hand, there is perhaps the second most attractive project for fans. Assassin’s Creed Codename Red will finally fulfill another community fantasy with an open world title set in Feudal Japan. is also Assassin’s Creed Codename Hexe of which only a revelation trailer was presented. Although no official details were given, rumors suggest that Hexe will be set in the last years of the Holy Roman Empire, during the witch hunt and will be the “darkest” installment of the saga so far.
Lastly, and more discreetly, it was mentioned Assassin’s Creed Codename Invictus. With no trailer or screenshots, this project will reportedly encompass multiplayer features inspired by the saga and as part of Infinity rather than a standalone game (whatever that means). From Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood to Black Flag, the saga had different multiplayer modes with moderate success.
Infinity can be very large and volatile
Clearly Ubisoft wants to reposition its biggest franchise in style. However, Infinity and all the other projects that come off it could have big flaws. The most obvious risk is a saturation of the saga. In fact, this problem is already dragging the franchise, according to some. For several installments it has been mentioned that it is simply ‘more of the same’. It is just common to hear of the most recent trilogy (Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla) that they are not even games with the emblematic part of the Assassin’s Creed saga. For more games announced, Ubisoft needs to differentiate them all either with mechanics or narratives or else it will be ‘more of the same’.
On the other hand, there is the biggest and most recent temptation of Ubisoft. Since last year, the infamous trend of NFTs has appeared in the video game industry. While the popular opinion of the community was openly against it, it was not the same with the companies and studios. Precisely Ubisoft was one of the largest developers in the industry who openly supported this new business model. His first run-in with the NFTs in Ghost Recon Breakpoint was a resounding failure. Still, the company has shown that it will not give up so easily.
Unfortunately Assassin’c Creed Infinity, as a game as a service, could be the ideal platform for another nefarious attempt to implement NFTs. Every game with countless micro transactions, especially the open world ones. Due to a recent misunderstanding, the study clarified that Assassin’s Creed Mirage will not have any type of lootboxes or bets. But he didn’t say anything about Infinity and the rest of the derivative projects.
The Brotherhood: Between a new beginning or its ruin
With the announcement of Assassin’s Creed Infinity there are two big possibilities. Ubisoft could redirect its biggest franchise and return it to being one of the most popular. Or the studio could bury its most prized saga under bad decisions and aggressive business models. The situation becomes critical in the larger picture. In recent years, the French developer has had multiple internal problems with its workers, its new IPs are not successful (Hyperscape, Roller Champions) and the classic ones decline (Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon). Behind the enthusiasm for everything announced for the Assassin’s Creed universe is much of the future of Ubisoft.