The massive creative leap in Assassin’s Creed III would not have been possible without previous annual releases, according to creative director Alex Hutchinson.
Hutchinson has defended Ubisoft’s decision to switch to an annual release model, explaining that it would have been impossible to be so ambitious with ACIII without the income from Brotherhood and Revelations.
“We have multiple groups now working [on the series]. We started this one in January 2010, the same time as Brotherhood and before Revelations,” he told Eurogamer. “The core team on this one has been working at it for almost three years, which is something you can almost never get in the industry these days—it’s too expensive, too risky. So, we need the other projects to support that kind of development—these big jumps.”
“It’s funny; people say it’s about how often you release new entries, but I really think it’s about how good they are,” he added.
Ubisoft has bucked the annual-release trend by constantly offering new features and gameplay mechanics in each iteration. It’s also allowed them to release what looks to be the best entry in the series to date. Many are both annoyed and angered at the annual release schedule of Call of Duty, but Ubisoft has managed to avoid this—which proves just how good the AC games have been.
“Also, the beauty of Assassin’s is that if you do it right, it’s kind of a new IP. It’s still about navigation and combat, but it’s a brand-new hero, brand-new setting, brand-new fantasy. It really is as close as you could get to a big-budget new IP late in the hardware cycle,” he concluded.
Personally, I’m sick of seeing a new COD game every year, but I look forward to each AC release with fevered excitement. This is down to the differences between each release—and the epic, overarching story that runs throughout. That’s the way to do annual releases.
Are you happy with Assassin’s Creed having an annual release schedule? Is it getting boring? Share your thoughts below.