With the always impending release of a new Assassin’s Creed title, it’s hard to tell just what Ubisoft has planned for the franchise. After the ending of Assassin’s Creed III, gamers thought that perhaps they’d finally reached the end of the story. But with the announcement of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, there was a collective gasp, followed shortly by a cry of excitement, as the gaming world realized that the blockbuster franchise was not over yet.
Of course, with Ubisoft releasing a new Assassin’s Creed game every year and continuing on beyond what appeared to be a very conclusive ending to the story of Desmond Miles, it’s hard not to wonder if they aren’t just milking the Assassin’s Creed name for as much money as they can. While it’s definitely true that they are seeking to capitalize on the success of the Assassin’s Creed name, a recent interview with Assassin’s Creed IV game director, Ashraf Ismail, revealed that the powers that be behind the franchise do have an idea of how they want the story to end. Each installment in the series is carefully placed within the framework to progress the story along while still providing a unique, inclusive experience within the game itself.
According to Ismael, one of the key advantages of working with a yearly title franchise is being “able to seed stuff earlier and earlier.” He cited Edward, the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed IV who was seeded in Assassin’s Creed III, as a good example of this. He also claims that this leads to many advances in gameplay, as things that are touched on in early installments become more fleshed out in later installments. For example, the team behind Assassin’s Creed III wanted ship boarding to happen in real-time, but had to be implemented as a cutscene. In Assassin’s Creed IV, the mechanic has been perfected and ship boarding will be happening in real-time. It’s comforting to know that the team behind Assassin’s Creed actually has a plan they are following rather than just releasing a completely insane amount of titles in the hopes of milking their target audience dry.
Of course, this just means we’ll all have to keep buying Assassin’s Creed installments every year if we want to know how the story ends.