Update July 7th 9:28AM - Ubisoft has officially announced Assassin's Creed Infinity. While the studio doesn't declare exactly what the project is in its announcement post, it does confirm the "cross-studio, collaborative structure" that Schreier pointed to in his Bloomberg article. Staffers who will work on Assassin's Creed Infinity include Ubisoft Quebec founder Marc-Alexis Côté, Ubisoft Montreal's Julien Laferrière, and creative leads Jonathan Dumont and Clint Hocking. Ubisoft says that Assassin's Creed Infinity shows it is "evolving along with the video game industry" and promises to share more about the project at a later date. Original story follows below.
Original story: Ubisoft is looking to create an Assassin's Creed live service platform, according to sources within the company. Codenamed Assassin's Creed Infinity, the project will span multiple interconnected settings and games and will evolve over time.
What do we know about the Assassin's Creed Infinity live service platform?
This news comes to us from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier. Citing "people familiar with its development", Schreier says Assassin's Creed Infinity will encompass multiple different settings with room for expansion, allowing the team to keep creating new settings without fundamentally altering gameplay too much. This would represent a fundamental change from the way each Assassin's Creed game currently takes place in a single historical location. There might still be individual Assassin's Creed games released; Schreier says these games "might look and feel different", but they'll all be connected by the Infinity platform.
When will Assassin's Creed Infinite launch?
Schreier's sources say that Assassin's Creed Infinite is still years from being released, and that details regarding the project are still fluid and subject to change. However, Assassin's Creed Infinity will be helmed by the newly-unified Montreal and Quebec studios, with Quebec taking control of the overall Assassin's Creed franchise. Previously, the two studios alternated development; Assassin's Creed Odyssey was crafted by Quebec, while Montreal developed Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
A Ubisoft spokesperson confirmed the existence of Assassin's Creed Infinite, stating that the project is a chance to appeal to fans who have been asking for "a more cohesive approach" to Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft also says that the unification of Montreal and Quebec, and the new direction for the franchise, is designed to help the series "evolve in a more integrated and collaborative manner" that focuses less on studios and more on "talent and leadership". We'll have to wait and see if and when Ubisoft decides to announce the project officially.
What is the situation at Ubisoft during Assassin's Creed Infinite production?
According to Schreier, there are a few things that might prove to be stumbling blocks for Assassin's Creed's ambitious new live service direction. For one, some employees at Ubisoft Montreal are apparently feeling burned out by working on successive major productions, and the scope and scale of Assassin's Creed Infinite has them worried. Schreier also points to new studios popping up in Montreal that will provide competition for Ubisoft, likely referring to Jade Raymond's new Haven Studios and Amazon's as-yet-nameless new venture, among others.
There's also the matter of the scandal last year regarding sexual harassment and toxic workplace culture allegations. In May, French platform Le Télégramme reported that Ubisoft had done practically nothing to address these allegations long-term, a suggestion Schreier echoes in the Infinite Bloomberg piece. Some staff accused of abusive behavior remain in place after the reorganization, and the Ubisoft internal response has apparently been unsatisfactory for many staff members. In addition to being poor HR practice, this could also prove problematic for Assassin's Creed Infinite, especially if already-tired staff members feel they aren't being listened to amid what appears to be a culture of indifference. We'll bring you more on this as soon as we get it.
What do you think about an Assassin's Creed live service project? Let us know in the comments below!