When Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed was to take a year off it was generally seen as a positive step after a spate of bug ridden releases in recent years. If however you was looking forward to getting back into the series next year then we may have some bad news for you.
Ubisoft has revealed that if they think the Assassin’s Creed series needs more time then it’ll get it same philosophy will apply for the Far Cry series. Both series are receiving a lot of scrutiny whilst under development and Ubisoft vice president of editorial Tommy Francois has said in an interview “We’re trying to achieve that. That’s super f****** blunt, I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this. This is the goal we’re going for: Alpha one year before, more quality, more polish. “So if this means biting the [bullet] and not having an Assassin’s game, or a Far Cry [in 2017], f*** it.”
Questioned further as to whether we could see Alpha sessions like we have seen with For Honour Francois clarified “Alpha is just saying getting stuff done, but leaving time for polish and innovation. I mean it from that perspective. We still need to have an Alpha, and we need it available as early as we possibly can, because the more time we have for this the more polish we have, the more time we can change, refine, swap systems. You just can’t take shortcuts.”
It’s pretty obvious the company are desperate to avoid a repeat to the Assassin’s Creed Unity release issues . Francois also hinted that they were experimenting with breaking from the normal open world structure “I do think we need to break that formula. This year we’ve given Far Cry and Assassin’s some time to decant, innovate, and polish. The objective behind this is exactly that. You’d be surprised – there are so many prototypes of alternatives. It’s always the same thing, the player is king, so we play-test it and people are just like, ‘What the f***?’ And we’re like, ‘Oh no! We just spent a year prototyping this new macrostructure for an Assassin’s or other type of open world game and people are telling us it’s s****.'”
It sounds like Ubisoft are beginning to realise that when you start to get the feedback from Alpha sessions, you need a good deal of time in order to implement meaningful changes. Hopefully this formula will apply to all their future games after many of their big releases failed to live up to expectation and what can only be described as a mediocre looking Ghost Recon gameplay trailer at this years E3.
It’s positive that Ubisoft are recognising issues and development constraints and that they are trying to bring us something genuinely new. We shouldn’t have long to wait to find out if we will be Assassinating people next year and all the rumours are currently pointing to Ancient Egypt being the series next historical stop over in what has been code named Assassin’s Creed Empire.