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Argument over annualised release of Assassin’s Creed is strange, says creative director

By: Muhammad Qasim Hassan

  |   August 17th, 2012   |  
Sony Computer Entertainment America E3 Press Conference 2012

While getting an opportunity to continue the journey down Desmond Miles’ memory lane without having to wait too long is quite enticing, the annual release of an Assassin’s Creed title has not gone down too well with the fans.

The creative director of the franchise Alex Hutchinson, however, fails to understand why there is an argument over an Assassin’s Creed title hitting the shelves on annual basis.

Defending the annualised franchises during his presentation at GDC Europe, he asserted that instead of debating over the frequency of releases, the argument should be about the quality of the games and if the developer is managing to live up to the standard that has been set up by the original game, there should not be any reason to be concerned about coming across a new title in the franchise every year.

“I find it strange we’ve decided yearly is too often,” Hutchinson said. “If Radiohead put out an album every month, I’d buy it. It’s about the quality.”

The creative director at Ubisoft Montreal further on to explain that by keeping the gap between subsequent releases to the minimum, the publisher aims to keep the game fresh in the minds of gamers so that it is convenient to keep telling the story. It is not uncommon to find gamers either losing interest or becoming lost if there is a wide gap between two titles of the same franchise.

Hutchinson also conceded that Ubisoft formed a franchise brand team following the success of Assassin’s Creed 2 in order to start working on the sequel. The team is treating the upcoming title as an “entirely new franchise” and would therefore deliver an experience that would deliver a pretty original and enjoyable experience while continuing to unfold the tale of Miles and his ancestors.

“Assassin’s Creed 3 is as displaced from Assassin’s Creed 2 as much as Medal of Honor is from Call of Duty,”

One of the primary criticisms for an annual release of an Assassin’s Creed title is that the rush to churn sequels is keeping the developer from innovating too much and thus the series has failed to display any significant uniqueness. Forums are full of fans complaining about being offered a pretty similar experience over and over again and blaming the publisher for adopting the strategy to milk the success of the franchise while it is still hot. They argue that the short interval between the subsequent titles is taking its toll on the quality of the game as well.

Assassin’s Creed III is set for release for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 30, while the PC version of the game will be coming out in November. It is also due to come out on Nintendo’s Wii U, though the release date has not yet been confirmed.