Kotaku reports that Assassin's Creed will be skipping 2016 to reboot the series, which has been annualized for some time now.
The story originated from 4chan's video game board, but Kotaku later verified it, stating the leaks were in-line with statements gathered from its independent sources. Kotaku previously outed Assassin's Creed Syndicate (formerly codenamed Victory) far in advance of its official announcement, adding further credibility.
"Assassin's Creed Empire" is reportedly set for a 2017 launch on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, and will take the franchise back to ancient Egypt, serving as a prequel to the entire series. The anonymous 4chan poster listed the details as follows, stating that the team is gunning for a Witcher-like feel. The leak says that players will take control of an escaped slave, and will also have the ability to control an eagle — a similar mechanic will feature in Ubisoft's upcoming Far Cry Primal.
The full list of comments can be found here.
..."Egypt. There won't be an AC in 2016. You may screencap this and refer to it when nothing is shown in E3 2016. You'll have to wait until 2017 for it. The reason: It will be a complete revamp of the series. The game is going for a Witcher feel, with player progression, freeform combat system. Horse is back, and boats too. It's made by the Black Flag team."...
..."This one has a lot more story than any of the rest. Going back to Ancient Egypt means they can do whatever they want, without "historical accuracy" to hold them back."...
Kotaku also stated that Ubisoft will unveil Watch Dogs 2 to fill the gap in their 2016 holiday line-up, set to take place in San Francisco. While Watch Dogs enjoyed robust sales and decent critical acclaim, it left a sour taste with some fans for its misleading reveal.
Naturally, it's always best to take rumors with a pinch of salt, but given Kotaku's accuracy regarding Ubisoft leaks before, this one seems like a safe bet. Assassin's Creed has suffered from franchise fatigue in recent years. As solid as Syndicate is — it shows that the series is becoming formulaic, lacking surprise and intrigue.
Assassin's Creed Unity damaged the franchise's selling power, according to Ubisoft head Yves Guillemot, who stated that 2015's Assassin's Creed Syndicate had suffered lower initial sales as fans waited to find out if the game suffered the same bugs as 2014's Unity. A reboot could breathe new life into Ubisoft's flagship franchise.
Ubisoft issued the following statement to GameSpot regarding the rumors:
..."We can't comment on rumour or speculation. We're always happy when players are excited about our games, past, present and future."...
Whether the next major AC installment is skipping 2016 or not, we're still going to pick up two new side-scrolling Assassin's Creed Chronicles adventures, an Assassin's Creed movie, and maybe even an Assassin's Creed HD collection.
Are you fatigued with the Assassin's Creed franchise? Did you enjoy Watch Dogs? Let us know in the comments.