New Ubisoft Assassin's Creed game?
Ubisoft Entertainment SA has turned an Assassin's Creed expansion into a stand-alone game to help fill out its thin release schedule, according to people familiar with the project.
Ubisoft Entertainment SA has turned an Assassin's Creed expansion into a stand-alone game to help fill out its thin release schedule, according to people familiar with the project. The game, code-named Rift, was originally planned as an expansion for 2020's Assassin's Creed Valhalla but morphed into a full game late last year, said the people, speaking anonymously because they weren't authorized to talk to the media. It will star Basim, a popular assassin character from Valhalla, and will be smaller in scope than recent games in the series, the people said. The game won't be a massive open-world role-playing game like previous recent entries, focusing instead more on stealth gameplay, and is planned for later this year or 2023.
Assassin's Creed, which has sold more than 155 million units, was once an annualized franchise but in recent years has taken more time between releases, leading to higher-quality games. Rift will arrive before Assassin's Creed Infinity, an ambitious online service game that will contain multiple historical settings, as Bloomberg reported last year. Ubisoft has shaken up several smaller Assassin's Creed expansions over the last year, canceling some, according to the people.
A spokeswoman for Ubisoft said the company doesn't comment “on rumors or speculation as they do a disservice to our development teams and community,” adding that they have “solid and exciting line-up of titles in our pipeline, both established brands with new story twists and features, and brand new IPs that will continue to change the landscape of today's video games.”
Ubisoft, the French video game publisher that also produces Far Cry, has faced challenges in recent years. In the summer of 2020, dozens of current and former employees accused the company of facilitating sexual misconduct, leading Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot to apologize and fire some of his top lieutenants. But many employees say the company has not done enough to fix its cultural problems. The fallout has prompted many employees to leave.
Ubisoft's game production has also struggled. The online game Skull & Bones has been delayed several times due to directional challenges, while Beyond Good & Evil 2, the sequel to a fan favorite, remains in pre-production after at least five years of development, according to people who work on that game. A planned remake of Prince of Persia was also delayed indefinitely.
The problems have led to a thin lineup for Ubisoft in the coming year or two. In the past, the company has tried to flesh out weak schedules by greenlighting smaller productions, such as 2020's Immortals Fenyx Rising and this year's Rainbow Six Extraction, to mixed results.
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