Ubisoft recently committed to another round of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC and, given the long tail of support, it sounds like some sort of test case for the next entry in the series. The publisher revealed Assassin’s Creed Infinity (which is still a codename) earlier today and while Ubisoft didn’t share a possible time period or location, it did disclose that it will be a live service title that will mark a new era for the long-running franchise.
The game was probably unveiled a little prematurely as Bloomberg originally broke the story a just over an hour-and-a-half prior to the official announcement (although Ubisoft was briefed that the report was coming). The report stated that this new game was inspired by Grand Theft Auto Online and Fortnite and will be “a massive online platform that evolves over time.” This carries over to the setting — a big selling point for most entries — as it will allegedly contain multiple different places. It sounds like a large project and according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the game is still at least three years away.
Development will also be changing. Assassin’s Creed games, while developed by many studios, are usually led by one internal team. For example, Ubisoft Montreal led 2017’s Origins, Quebec led 2018’s Odyssey, and Montreal once again led 2020’s Valhalla. Now both teams will be working together on Infinity, with each studio having its own creative director. However, Quebec will “take charge of the franchise,” but the transition may not be smooth due to existing tension between teams.
Ubisoft’s blog was obviously less focused on the alleged controversy and only pointed out some key team members and its general vision, but did confirm many elements found in the Bloomberg article. The post stated that Infinity was indeed a cross-studio production title that will “guide, grow, evolve, and define the overall future of Assassin’s Creed.” Its leadership will be made up of a number of Ubisoft veterans. Marc-Alexis Côté, one of Ubisoft Quebec’s founders and Syndicate‘s creative director, will be the series’ executive producer and Montreal’s Étienne Allonier will continue to be Assassin’s Creed‘s brand director.
Jonathan Dumont and Clint Hocking will be joint creative directors. Dumont was Odyssey‘s creative director and Hocking is known for his long history with Ubisoft, which stretches from his role as creative director on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Far Cry 2, and Watch Dogs: Legion.
Ubisoft claims this is to change alongside the game industry, something that was jumpstarted by the pandemic and working from home. Instead of moving the series back and forth between teams, Ubisoft says this approach doesn’t revolve as much around the teams and focuses more on talent “no matter where they are within Ubisoft.” Such an attitude also lets the company bring in more perspectives, a boon for a series that hops around the globe.
It sounds like Ubisoft is still figuring out the next game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise so many questions were left unanswered. It’s not clear if this is part of Ubisoft’s recent strategy to start to focus more on “high-end free-to-play games.” Ubisoft announced it was developing two free-to-play games in the Division franchise (The Division: Heartland and an unnamed mobile title) and additional reporting suggests that the oft-delayed Skull and Bones will also be free-to-play. Ubisoft also told VideoGamesChronicle in that aforementioned article that it wasn’t giving up on premium experiences, but it remains to be seen where Assassin’s Creed Infinity will fall.