Last Updated on July 18, 2021 by Mark P.
What We Know
Assassin’s Creed was, for a time, a lot like Call of Duty, in the sense that you could expect a new entry in the series roughly every year. Oddly enough, it’s actually been a relatively long time since the last Assassin’s Creed game. Now though, it seems that Ubisoft may be working on biggest, most ambitious entry in the series, one that promises to be “a massive online platform that evolves over time.” Don’t get your hopes up too early though, as this foretold entry is still years away at best.
What Will It Be Called?
An actual name for this Assassin’s Creed game is unknown. Currently, it is codenamed “Infinity.” This comes from a report by Bloomberg, which was confirmed by Ubisoft. The report also claims that the game will feature “multiple settings” and “room to expand” following its launch. The report seems to imply that “Infinity” isn’t so much a game as it is a platform, hosting multiple games in the Assassin’s Creed universe that will look and feel different while still being tied together somehow.
When Is It Coming Out?
Reporter Jason Schreier claims that Infinity won’t be out until 2024 at the latest, but he also makes another fairly good point: there’s every chance Ubisoft won’t follow through with it. It’s all well and good to claim a good idea, but when its fruition would still be years away, there’s plenty of time to change course. It’s just as likely that Ubisoft will scrap the project as it is for them to see it through to the end.
But for now, let’s just assume they would follow through. Needless to say, this whole “several games in one package” thing would be a massive departure from the typical Assassin’s Creed experience that Ubisoft has doled out to us for years. Normal AC games have one historical setting, and the modern timeline. Multiple historical settings in one game would definitely be a new experience, and we have no idea if it would all be tied to a single modern character like Desmond, or multiple.
The Infinity project has been confirmed by a spokesperson from Ubisoft, though details were vague. They did say that their goal is to “exceed the expectations of fans who have been asking for a more cohesive approach.”
Multiple Teams Working On It
It goes without saying that multiple teams will be working on Infinity, not because it is such a huge undertaking, but particularly because Ubisoft generally does that: at least fifteen studios worked on Valhalla. Oddly enough, Ubisoft has begun the process of opening up a development studio in Sydney for the purpose of collaborating with an AAA IP that has yet to be revealed. There’s no way to know if Infinity is that IP, and Ubisoft itself says otherwise. Apparently Ubisoft Quebec will be leading the collaboration, though that doesn’t mean this Sydney studio wouldn’t be a part of the team.
In the past, Ubisoft Montreal has often been the other half of development (along with Quebec) as far as Assassin’s Creed games are concerned. Apparently, the two divisions are now unified, and each will have their own creative director.
Ubisoft officially said that the Infinity project will be developed as a “cross studio structure” between the Montreal and Quebec teams. Together, they will “guide, grow, evolve, and define the overall future of Assassin’s Creed that includes an important upcoming, early-in-development project codenamed Assassin’s Creed Infinity.”
The executive producer of the Assassin’s Creed franchise from this point on is Marc-Alexis Côté, a founding member of the Ubisoft Quebec studio, and member of the teams that worked on Syndicate, Brotherhood and Odyssey. Assassin’s Creed’s brand director for the past decade or so, Étienne Allonier, will be joining him.
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Considering that Infinity is apparently years away at even the most generous estimate, fans may be concerned regarding whether or not there will be any other Assassin’s Creed content until then. Jason Schreier claims that Valhalla is still set to receive more expansions, and there could be other small content to be seen in the franchise as well. However, considering that Ubisoft Montreal and Quebec are the teams that have traditionally made every AC game, and they are both focusing on Infinity, it seems unlikely that we would get an entirely new AAA Assassin’s Creed game between now and Infinity’s release.
That is of course, assuming Infinity makes it from these early stages to release. If it does, it will change the formula of the franchise quite considerably, turning it into a game focused more on extended online live service, such as GTA Online or Fortnite. The process with such games is generally to continue adding content over time, keeping players invested and interested in spending money.
For more details on the exact team composition that will be working on Infinity, you can check out this extensive official statement from Ubisoft below:
“Joint production efforts on Assassin’s Creed Infinity will be headed up by Ubisoft Montreal’s Julien Laferrière who has been named senior producer, overseeing production at both studios. Laferrière brings along extensive experience with the franchise, having worked on Assassin’s Creed since 2007 before most recently becoming producer on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Creative leads for Assassin’s Creed Infinity will be a cross-studio collaboration, as well. Jonathan Dumont and Clint Hocking will share leadership as creative directors, overseeing their respective teams at Ubisoft Quebec and Ubisoft Montreal. Dumont was previously world director on Assassin’s Creed Syndicate at Ubisoft Quebec before becoming creative director on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Meanwhile, this moment marks Hocking’s return to Ubisoft Montreal, having started at the studio in 2001 as a level designer, game designer, and scriptwriter on the original Splinter Cell before becoming creative director on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Far Cry 2, and most recently Watch Dogs: Legion.
This change means we’re also evolving along with the video game industry. The pandemic and working from home have fundamentally changed the way we produce games, giving us a moment to reflect on our organization. Assassin’s Creed was born within the walls of Ubisoft Montreal and the studio built an incredible foundation for the franchise with the immense skill and creativity of its teams before Ubisoft Quebec then took the lead with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Odyssey, demonstrating its ability to drive the franchise even further.
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. Most importantly, Assassin’s Creed has always been developed by multicultural teams with various backgrounds and perspectives that have influenced the depiction of its characters, locations, and cultures. While we know there’s always room for improvement, we believe this new structure allows us to ensure that diversity and representation within our teams continues to grow and match that of our players.
We hope you’ll join us for this incredible journey, and we’re excited to share more on what’s coming for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Assassin’s Creed Infinity at a later date.
Nathalie Bouchard, Managing Director, Ubisoft Quebec and Christophe Derennes, Managing Director, Ubisoft Montreal.”
The Big Picture
Needless to say, this is all quite a big step in the evolution of Assassin’s Creed, assuming everything goes according to plan. If Infinity does come to fruition, it will mark a massive shift in the way Assassin’s Creed does business. One could assume that Infinity would be so large that it would preclude any other Assassin’s Creed games for several years after its release. After all, if it’s a platform that is designed to have new content added to it over time, there would be no reason to make new standalone games.
Of course, one also has to wonder how such a game would be monetized. Would it be free to play, but require spending to unlock new content? Would it have an initial cost, and only require more spending for large DLC packs that give access to new settings? Ubisoft has said nothing about the game on this front, which comes as no surprise since Infinity is still so far away.
Ultimately though, we are excited. Considering how long Assassin’s Creed has been around and how many games there have been that followed the same rough formula, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that the series has stagnated just a bit. Something big and different like Infinity could be exactly what Assassin’s Creed needs to propel itself for the next several years of gaming.
For now, hoping that everything goes well is the best fans can do. Long development times and ambitious goals tend to be a recipe for disaster, and there’s no telling if Infinity will manage to be all that it is promised to be: which admittedly isn’t all that much, considering the limited amount of information we actually have regarding the project.
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