Assassin's Creed III's "Big Jump" Only Possible Due to Annual Releases

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Assassin's Creed III's "Big Jump" Only Possible Due to Annual Releases

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Assassins Creed III is "really is as close as you could get to a big budget new IP this late in the hardware cycle."

At least, according to the game's creative director, Alex Hutchinson. The comment was made in an interview with Eurogamer, in which Hutchinson defended Ubisoft's decision to turn Assassin's Creed into a annual franchise. He argues that the guaranteed cash generated by yearly sequels allows the company to take bigger risks.

"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," he said. "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.

It does indeed. Last year's Assassin's Creed: Revelations was the most poorly received title in the Assassin's Creed II trilogy. In fact, its Metacritic score of 80 makes it the lowest scoring title in the main series.

Hutchinson went on to argue that since Assassin's Creed sequels feature different characters in different settings, they're a lot like new IPs.

"Also, the beauty of Assassin's is that if you do it right it's kind of a new IP," he said. "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."

Hutchinson wouldn't confirm whether or not Assassin's Creed III will receive direct sequels in the same way Assassin's Creed II did.

"We also know players love new characters and radical changes so we're still figuring a few things out," he said. "I don't know. I think it would be kind of neat at some point to say 'Connor is a character, he lived in this big epic game, that's his story', instead of trying to drag it out too much."

Now the idea of a publisher hedging its bets by using guaranteed money spinners to generate income to cushion riskier, innovative projects isn't new, movie studios have been doing it for years. The idea, however, is that the riskier projects are generally new IPs that, over time, become money spinners in their own right. Instead, Ubisoft is producing sequels on a yearly basis in order to generate enough money to create bigger sequels.

Source: Eurogamer

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Yes because making a REAL Assassin's Creed sequel is such a risky choice.

It's not a matter of saturating players with annual iterations. It's the fact that the core mechanics of the entire franchise are shithouse. Abject, automated slop, of which the developers should be ashamed. I have purchased and played every single console release of this series, and have been consistently disappointed. I will purchase Assassin's Creed III, but am hoping for this to change...lest this become the most overrated, bullshit franchise in the history of gaming.

Seriously, holding a single button and direction to traverse the environment, or tapping a single button to counter/conquer your opponents in combat, is the gaming equivalent of pointing a remote at the tv. It's not gameplay, it's a continuous quicktime event. Mindless, devoid of challenge or immersion. You give us this amazingly realised environment/world, and then force me feel like I'm watching someone else play a cool game.

Furthermore, your notions of "stealth" are absurd. "Blending"? That...oh, man...I just can't even tackle that one objectively without laughing. And how about the distinct lack of any mechanics that can even be equated with stealth? You know, like crouching, sneaking, illumination and darkness? You think a haystack suffices? Not one of the protagonists in any of these games has been an actual assassin. They've all been "brigands", or "thugs". "Assassins's" Creed is a misnomer, and your games suck.

This would have held more weight if he had claimed that the yearly releases allowed for risky IP jumps like Watch Dogs.

But claiming that yearly releases are needed for...bigger versions of the things being released yearly is a bit silly.

Hutchinson went on to argue that since Assassin's Creed sequels feature different characters in different settings, they're a lot like new IPs.

That's not how IPs (in this case the gaming jargon term) work. It'd be akin to saying that because Halo Reach features new characters in a new setting, it's a different IP to Halo.

"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."

Wait, I thought Desmond was the hero? And the setting is still the Animus using future tech to look back into his genetic memories? Lead writer Matt Turner says Assassin's Creed 3 will feature more Desmond than ever before, and more present-day events than in any past installment. (Apr 3, 2012).

Is that wrong? Do we have a new hero now? Did they suddenly decided to rewrite the entire direction of the game over the past two months?

can someone make sense of this because I'm having a hard time deciding where i should put it

So what does that make The Last of Us? Chopped lunkhead? Sorry but no. Even if it was a totally different game, it's still using the same IP, and I'm pretty sure the AC games have never differed from each other that much.

What about Watchdogs? Their own game that they are developing? Am I wrong to assume that it's an original IP and has a big budget? if it isn't, quit messing with Assasins creed and actually work on that new IP. Take a "risk"

What? That's complete rubbish! Ubisoft themselves showed off a really original big budget new IP at E3 in Watch Dogs. And we have games like Dishonored, Beyond and The Last Of Us on the way too. And there are big risky sequels that have come out without the need of yearly instalments, like GTA 4. They may not be common but they do happen. You have to prove that you can be successful and consistently make quality games. High frequency is not necessary.

To be honest as long as they don't make me play the yearly games I don't mind. But having a sequel take 3 years to develop and actually change something isn't the revolutionary idea he's making out

Dr.Panties:
snip.

uhhhh?

you hate the games

so you keep buying them...

and I think your kind of missing the "point" of the assasin order (or their original doctrin)

Amnestic:

Hutchinson went on to argue that since Assassin's Creed sequels feature different characters in different settings, they're a lot like new IPs.

That's not how IPs (in this case the gaming jargon term) work. It'd be akin to saying that because Halo Reach features new characters in a new setting, it's a different IP to Halo.

"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."

Wait, I thought Desmond was the hero? And the setting is still the Animus using future tech to look back into his genetic memories? Lead writer Matt Turner says Assassin's Creed 3 will feature more Desmond than ever before, and more present-day events than in any past installment. (Apr 3, 2012).

Is that wrong? Do we have a new hero now? Did they suddenly decided to rewrite the entire direction of the game over the past two months?

calm down there...

I think "new hero" isn't much of a strech of words, considering weve had alitiar..and then Ezio for a few games, the new guy is definetly a much needed addition

I suppose he has a point, sort of, but this tactic is not without its risks either. Things we like can end up overstaying their welcome if we see them around too often (see Revelations), and games as large and open as AC games run the risk of being very rushed if they only have 1 year for a development cycle (again, see Revelations).

"We put a different guy in the same outfit and moved it to America. Totally different game guys."

... who are they expecting to fall for this?!

Yet from what I can see from the E3 stage demo it's still going to have that same horrid combat system that has plagued every game in the series.

Oh well, at least we can crouch properly now.

All of the stuff he said was just spin on 'reasons to churn out the same game each year'. its just an excuse to make their own cod.
i stopped at brotherhood, and doubt i will buy this one. imh it looks unbelievebly cartoon like

I suppose he has a point.

Doesn't make this new entry into the series feel any less bogged down by all the annual cash-in sequels that came before it though. Which were only 2, but that just goes to show how easy a franchise can grow stale.

As long as they can keep interest up... whatever works, I guess.

The environments have all been new, there has always been some new stuff added in each game, and the story is continously expanded upon.

Nintendo has been releasing revised versions of their core games for many years, and nobody seems to bat an eyelash over it.
Granted the AC games reuse their mechanics, graphical style and engine over and over, but at least it's not on the same level as EA sports titles where they just spruce up the graphics and change the roster every year.

Honestly, I can see their point. If they want to maintain their high-cost development model, they have to get the dosh for it somewhere. And in my opinion, while some of the AC titles haven't been great, they've at least been good enough.

Not to mention the franchise has been available for the PC, thus actually making me play it, something that can't be taken for granted this day and age.

NinjaDeathSlap:
I suppose he has a point, sort of, but this tactic is not without its risks either. Things we like can end up overstaying their welcome if we see them around too often (see Revelations), and games as large and open as AC games run the risk of being very rushed if they only have 1 year for a development cycle (again, see Revelations).

yeah, the thing is I like assassins creed but I don't want to (or need to) play one every year, give me some time to actually get excited

Simonoly:
Yet from what I can see from the E3 stage demo it's still going to have that same horrid combat system that has plagued every game in the series.

Oh well, at least we can crouch properly now.

Ive never had a problem with he combat

I've always had a problem with more and more shit being piled on top of whats already there

The problem is that releasing annual iterations of a series can easily lead to fatigue on the players. I have played every Assassins Creed game since the first one but I have now got to the point where the games fail to excite me because every year it's the same. If Ubisoft hadn't made Brotherhood and Revelations I would be proper hyped for AC3 and bought it day one but as it is I'm likely not to pick it up for til much later, if at all.

NinjaDeathSlap:
I suppose he has a point, sort of, but this tactic is not without its risks either. Things we like can end up overstaying their welcome if we see them around too often (see Revelations), and games as large and open as AC games run the risk of being very rushed if they only have 1 year for a development cycle (again, see Revelations).

Ultimately I think Revelations was a good thing. They now know how far they can push each setting before it becomes stale and overused. And Ubisoft has been much less dickish as a publisher lately so they may actually take that lesson to heart.

Also, I find it interesting that he's saying AC3 is as close to a new IP as you're going to get now while Ubisoft itself was showing off a new IP a week ago.

lancar:

Not to mention the franchise has been available for the PC, thus actually making me play it, something that can't be taken for granted this day and age.

wow......

you must be the most tolerant gamer I've ever seen on the internet

I think the AC series has legs, different locations, characters. Say maybe the Falklands war, or WW2 with the protagonist as a Jew assassinating German officials ending with a kill hitler mission.

Dr.Panties:

And how about the distinct lack of any mechanics that can even be equated with stealth? You know, like crouching, sneaking, illumination and darkness? You think a haystack suffices? Not one of the protagonists in any of these games has been an actual assassin. They've all been "brigands", or "thugs". "Assassins's" Creed is a misnomer, and your games suck.

I don't think you know what an assassin is. Stealth is not a requisite to being an assassin.

If that's the case, I am glad that I supported them every step of the way. Love the Assassins Creed games and glad that they are able to make another big leap forward.

The games where never slap dash either and always added something new, something other yearly franchises seem to fail to do. Either way I'm looking forward to AC:3 and I'm glad Ubisoft are not just milking their franchises and are making new IPs too!

I don't see it as being a "new IP" thing... Same overarching characters, same premise, same overworld story, just a different guy being quantum leaped into. That said, I'm still looking forward to it because of the continuation of that overworld story. We're finally at the point where the game setting and the present day time will be synced, so presumably something very interesting will come of this.

As for the yearly sequels... I liked them, myself. I guess I'm just a sucker for the grandiose settings, but each did introduce new things to the mix (even if in some cases the innovations were minor). And they did just enough to keep series fans' interest topped off over time.

...Sorry, bit of a stream of consciousness thing here... I was going to say "I'm not sure I'd have been as interested in the story if there hadn't been the developments in those years in between" but then I remembered Half-Life 2 2 (As Valve will probably have to call it, what with their seeming allergy to the number three) - I still do want to know what happens there. Not so sure how I feel about the story continuation bit now with regard to that, maybe it wouldn't have suffered if not for the existence of Brotherhood and Revs. Regardless though, the intervening games were good in my opinion.

Late in the cycle? Okay? The shadow of the PS4 and Xbox720 are looming in the near future? Wait, they're not? They're not even announced yet? The cycle will run at least another year, probably two. Please don't try and paint the fact you keep reskinning the same game over and over as some big favor you're doing for us. Oh, I can climb trees now? Yeah that's a big jump.

If the WiiU and all its horrible ideas are signaling the end of big IPs on the other two consoles, the WiiU is probably the worst thing to happen to gaming since they replaced health-bars with smearing jelly on your screen.

Slanzinger:
I remembered Half-Life 2 2 (As Valve will probably have to call it, what with their seeming allergy to the number three) - I still do want to know what happens there.

They'll call it Half-Life 2 Episode 2 Part 2-1.

"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,"
... that's not something you want to be caught saying after Revelations...

itchcrotch:
"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,"
... that's not something you want to be caught saying after Revelations...

I still maintain that revelations was better than brotherhood

Sylveria:
They'll call it Half-Life 2 Episode 2 Part 2-1.

I'm beginning to wonder if Gabe's channeling the spirit of King Arthur. Could be Half-Life 5... http://youtu.be/xOrgLj9lOwk?t=2m9s

Or alternatively just "Half-Life 2: Two Harder".

OT (to your other post): We've yet to see whether there will be a large jump -- there was a leap in engine between 1 and 2. And it has been being worked on by a mostly different team to the AC2 chapters. True there won't be anything earth-shatteringly different but still...
And I would argue we are late into this generation. Not because of something new lingering on the horizon but just because of how long this gen's been around. The Xbox 360's been around 7 years now, that's a long time to be working with the same tech (in fact as far as I can discern it's the longest gap between hardware generations so far, certainly since the start of the 90s)

Vault101:

Dr.Panties:
snip.

uhhhh?

you hate the games

so you keep buying them...

and I think your kind of missing the "point" of the assasin order (or their original doctrin)

Yep, I keep hoping for one to turn out well. I buy pretty much any new high-profile game, regardless of genre.

And I'm not missing the point of anything here, but I'm sure that you'll attempt to enlighten me in this regard. My biggest problem is with the mechanics. They just aren't good enough, and indicative of an overall awful trend towards automation, streamlining, minimising player input. Dreadful.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Dr.Panties:

And how about the distinct lack of any mechanics that can even be equated with stealth? You know, like crouching, sneaking, illumination and darkness? You think a haystack suffices? Not one of the protagonists in any of these games has been an actual assassin. They've all been "brigands", or "thugs". "Assassins's" Creed is a misnomer, and your games suck.

I don't think you know what an assassin is. Stealth is not a requisite to being an assassin.

Oh, ok. You keep telling yourself that, as you wade (ie: single button tap) through 15 armed and armoured soldiers like a "realistic" assassin. Or "blend" in with your inconspicuous assassin's outfit and arsenal.

Seriously? You're actually going to maintain that stealth and artifice were not essential components of an assassin's modus operandi during any of the historical periods presented in these games?

Vault101:

NinjaDeathSlap:
I suppose he has a point, sort of, but this tactic is not without its risks either. Things we like can end up overstaying their welcome if we see them around too often (see Revelations), and games as large and open as AC games run the risk of being very rushed if they only have 1 year for a development cycle (again, see Revelations).

yeah, the thing is I like assassins creed but I don't want to (or need to) play one every year, give me some time to actually get excited

Simonoly:
Yet from what I can see from the E3 stage demo it's still going to have that same horrid combat system that has plagued every game in the series.

Oh well, at least we can crouch properly now.

Ive never had a problem with he combat

I've always had a problem with more and more shit being piled on top of whats already there

I think it's just a preference thing. I just found the swordplay frustrating and it really didn't match the flow of the game. You spend most of your time running along rooftops and sprinting through streets and I've always wanted that sense of freedom to be translated to the combat. But as soon as you attack an enemy you lock onto them, there's a fixed camera angle and everything becomes static and slow. I just want more freedom during combat. Although in the E3 demo there is a part where the new Assassin guy grabs a spear and stabs someone whilst running along so hopefully combat scenarios are opening up a bit.

Theoretically, I have no problem with annual releases. The issue comes in wherein the games inevitably, due to the much shorter development cycle, reuse so many assets to make sure the game is released on time, that it's essentially the same game, but worse. Revelations proved that Assassin's Creed isn't immune to this, and for my money Brotherhood was a waste of time too.

See also Call of Duty, FIFA, Guitar Hero, and every other sports game ever since the dawn of EA.

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