Ubisoft has decided that two of its most lucrative franchises need a couple years off. In an interview with IGN, Ubisoft VP of Editorial, Tommy François made it clear that they’d be willing to hold off on releasing yearly iterations of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry to allow more time for quality assurance and polish.
“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.”
That’s a pretty frank statement. A welcome one as well.
Assassin’s Creed Unity was a mess, and while Syndicate was well received, it’s obvious gamers are getting tired of the same-old-same-old formula plaguing Ubisoft’s open world games. It’s a formula present in all their games, including the Far Cry series. Climb tower, survey land, complete side activities, and gather collectibles. Rinse, repeat. It’s know as the “Ubisoft open-world formula,” and has even permeated games outside the companies library. You can see it in Warner Bros’ Shadow of Mordor below.
To be fair, Ubisoft’s take on open-world exploration works. If it didn’t so many other games wouldn’t have adopted it. But it is a tired one, a fact that François admits in the interview.
“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.”
Even the soon to be released Watch Dogs 2 is looking to deviate itself from the tried and true systems set forth by its predecessors. This is good news for gamers. Taking time off to innovate and refine Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, could be just the injection these series need to feel new again.
If you were looking forward to a new Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry in 2017 you’re out of luck. But you will still be able to experience a new story in the AC universe in the film starring Micheal Fassbender when it comes out in December.
In the end, this is good news. Far Cry Primal was a mixed bag as far as reception goes, and AC: Syndicate was only marginally better than Unity. Plus, Ubisoft has plenty of other projects to keep them busy and gamers satisfied. Steep is shaping up into a promising mutli-player sports game, and Watch Dogs 2 looks so much more fun than the first, and both are games Ubi wouldn’t want to detract from.
It’s never bad news when developers step back and look at the bigger picture like Ubisoft is doing here. What do you geeks think? Do we need a break from Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry yearly releases? What other games should follow suit and take a short break between sequels? Call of Duty comes to my mind.