Annualized franchises often feature two things: commercial success and very vocal critics. Games like Call of Duty
and Assassin's Creed
release like clockwork and consistently bring in mountainous piles of money, but critically the results are more inconsistent. Ubisoft has decided to do with their flagship series what many fans have wished they would do for several years now. 2016 will feature no mainline games in the Assassin's Creed series
I specify "mainline" because, although Ubisoft stated in the announcement
that "we’ve decided that there will not be a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016", there have actually already been two. The 2.5D Chronicles
spinoffs in Russia
both released after the new year. However, for the first time since 2009, gamers won't have a new story and city to explore this October/November.
This year, we also are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin’s Creed franchise. 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.
The move seems to be a result of not just the fan outcry for improvement but also the fact that the Assassin's Creed
movie will release this December. Ubisoft is focusing their brand on that release for the year ahead. What's in store for 2017? We'll have to wait and see, but it sounds like it could be very different from what we're used to.