Ubisoft’s VP of Editorial, Tommy François, has revealed that there may not be an
Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry game in 2017. This is because the company wants both games to be in a completed state a year before their releases, allowing the development teams to spend a year raising their quality. François explained that the Alpha for these games needs to be a year before their launch, and Ubisoft is working hard to achieve these goals.
This Alpha state doesn’t refer to a public testing session similar to what the publisher is doing with games like
For Honor, but is essentially just a working version of the completed game. Basically, François is saying that Ubisoft wants to take an entire year to polish the game. This will include things like removing bugs, tweaking graphics, decreasing load times, and other quality of use improvements.
François therefore refutes that the games are being held off purely to give consumers a break from the brands, as there was a general assumption within the industry that Ubisoft was taking time off to avoid franchise fatigue.
“People are allowed to perceive it like that,” he accepts, but insists that it’s genuinely for creative reasons. The structure of Assassin’s Creed is being experimented with, and the expected open-world formula of a Ubisoft game may be changing.
According to François, there’s always prototypes for new open-world formulas, but Ubisoft needs time to make the necessary changes once they receive player feedback. This is why getting an Alpha-build ready a year before development is important, so that the development team can adjust the game and make it as enjoyable as possible before it launches.
Ubisoft announced towards the beginning of last year that they
wouldn’t release a major Assassin’s Creed game in 2016, but they have since announced The Ezio Collection, a compilation of the three PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games featuring protagonist Ezio Auditore da Firenze, remastered for current generation hardware.