I am sorry if the front page of Kotaku reads like an advertisement for Ubisoft right now, but do you want to know the wildest thing about it all? That’s not even everything that the French company announced recently in the world of Assassin’s Creed during its big Ubisoft Forward event. There was so much Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft held an entire showcase for the open-world series today.
We knew it was coming, of course. And Ubisoft has always been a company that has had multiple Assassin’s Creed irons in the fire. But on the other hand, there’s a reason why this is the first year a series-exclusive segment was necessary. Let’s go over it, shall we?
In addition to finally ending Assassin’s Creed Valhalla with a free content update that wraps up the story, Ubisoft is making an AssCreed set in Japan, which is technically the hot-ticket mainline series item after fans begged for that setting for so long. But the company is also really hyping up the “back to basics” Assassin’s Creed Mirage, which is set 20 years before Valhalla. And don’t forget, Valhalla just got a new mode not that long ago, too. Valhalla has been getting steady updates this entire time.
I point this out because I want to emphasize that what Ubisoft revealed today was not the equivalent of the company finally feeding fans after a dry spell, even though it’s technically been a couple of years since the last mainline entry. There wasn’t a new Assassins Creed last year, but the machine never stopped. Actually, Ubisoft claims that 2021 was one of the best years ever for the franchise, revenue-wise.
Okay. That’s the big stuff that’s been rumored if not leaked for a long time. We’ve also got a mysterious mobile game coming from Netflix, seemingly to celebrate the eventual release of its live-action series, but that’s not the only mobile game in development right now. Not long after Tencent acquired a bigger stake in Ubisoft, we got the announcement of something codenamed Assassin’s Creed JADE, a “triple A” game set in ancient China that’s heading to mobile devices.
But wait, there’s more! While we only got a short teaser for it, Ubisoft is working on something it’s giving the codename Assassin’s Creed HEXE, which appears to be a witchy twist on the stabby franchise.
Did you think we were done? My sweet summer child. No. Some guy at Axios is reporting that we’re also going to get Assassin’s Creed Invictus, a multiplayer-centric entry that will be backed by devs who have worked on games like Rainbow 6 Siege and For Honor. For the sake of sanity, I’m going to leave out all the news related to merch and the show. But let it be known that everything I just typed still wasn’t all of it, technically speaking.
It’s no wonder that Ubisoft also announced Assassin’s Creed Infinity, a hub that both portends our fate under the ever-expanding history series, but will, more practically, connect this vast web of games together. Somehow. Ubisoft made Infinity sound confusing as hell, though we do know that it will function as a launcher and that Infinity will also house elements of the larger modern, meta storyline that tie the lore together. We also know that Assassin’s Creed Red will be a part of Infinity somehow, which makes sense: Even if people are skeptical about downloading yet another thing, they’ll likely do so for a game this high-profile.
It’s all very ambitious, and I’m sure there’s something in here for every appetite you might have, given the wide variety of things in development, not all of which will be hundred-hour-plus behemoths. But damn, nothing is out yet and I’m already a little overwhelmed and fatigued. Assassin’s Creed is not so much a franchise anymore, it is an industry.
Now you may be wondering how Ubisoft is doing all of this amid a larger reckoning within its globe-spanning development studios, some of which are seeking to unionize. While workers say that Ubisoft has introduced things like systems for reporting abuse, a necessary inclusion after a high-profile developer on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was fired for “misconduct,” the group remains critical of how the company has, in their view, mishandled more recent reports of “abusers.” In a recent interview, however, Ubisoft executive producer Marc-Alexis Côté, has insisted that the company is more proactive. “We intervene much sooner when there’s any situation that might lead us down the path to harassment” Côté said.
All the while, Ubisoft has been striving to give studios more development time to help deliver the dizzying number of games that were announced today.