NEWS - Friday, May 13, 2011

More Ubisoft Franchises to Get the AC Treatment

Assassin’s Creed is Ubisoft’s biggest franchise, so it should come as no surprise that it would like to replicate that success with its other properties. It’ll attempt to do so by mirroring that same "product template" with its "other strong franchises," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot revealed today.
 Speaking during an investors conference call, as reported by GiantBomb, Guillemot said, "What is impressive with the release year after year of Assassin’s Creed is our ability to deliver every time with a high level of innovation and creativity in a large and very diverse open world. There is no other open world console game that is coming on a yearly basis. This is achieved through great execution by providing more resources and by putting in place a very compelling network of leads and associate studios."
Since the original Assassin’s Creed proved to be a success, Ubisoft hasn’t let up with releasing new games in the series. Since 2008, there have been six distinct AC games released for a combination of consoles, handhelds, and Facebook, and that doesn’t count the original game or its 2008 Director’s Cut. This year’s console/PC title, Revelations, was just recently announced and will be coming later this year. Ubisoft also has a 3DS title, Lost Legacy, in development, which had been planned for release alongside the 3DS itself.
Without naming any names, the annual release cycle that AC has seen will be replicated in other Ubisoft franchises. "We are applying the very [same] product template to our other strong franchises to bring them back to Assassin’s Creed blockbuster profitable status," said Guillemot.
Some of the company’s other big franchises include Prince of Persia, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Far Cry, Driver, Call of Juarez, and Just Dance. Many of those series have new games in the works, but Rainbow Six, for instance, hasn’t been heard from since Vegas 2 came out in 2008.
In a press release issued today, Guillemot also said that Revelations "further demonstrates the strength of our cross-studio collaboration model put in place for the franchise -- a model that offers both creativity for gamers and a steady flow of releases."
Activision is often criticized for its treatment of the Call of Duty franchise. In many ways, it sounds as if Ubisoft is looking to essentially do the same thing. There have been complaints in the past about the annual releases Assassin’s Creed has seen (Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 was also subjected to the same grievances). But given that the series has only existed since 2007, it may only be a matter of time before gamers begin to complain more about AC. Then again, those complaints haven’t stopped Call of Duty from reaching unparalleled levels of success, and if Ubisoft has the opportunity to replicate that to some degree, I doubt it will mind the objections.



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