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How the Shift in Ubisoft’s Mentality Could Save the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Franchise



Ubisoft’s Editorial VP, Tommy Francois, has revealed in an interview with IGN that there seems to be an additional emphasis on alpha testing for games, saying that they want them in alpha for up to a year. “We’re trying to achieve that. That’s super f*cking blunt, I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this. This is the goal we’re going for: alpha one year before, more quality, more polish.”

What does that mean? Francois said it himself: “So if this means biting the bullet and not having an Assassin’s game, or a Far Cry in 2014, f*ck it.” Which is fantastic news for fans of both franchises.

It’s no secret that the Assassin’s Creed franchise is struggling. Assassin’s Creed Unity launched with game breaking bugs which, when coupled with a muddled and incoherent story, drastically impacted critic reviews. Unity was supposed to be a glowing bastion of all of that next generation consoles could accomplish. Instead, users had to contend with a faceless protagonist, horrible framerates, and mission ending bugs. Though Ubisoft eventually patched the game, and gave away a free DLC to apologize for the early issues, the damage had been done.

The horrible reputation of Unity carried over to the launch of the much more refined Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. The tarnished reputation of the brand contributed to Syndicate being one of the franchise lowest selling games, despite it generally being perceived as much better than its predecessors. An added emphasis on game polish will mean that the next game in the franchise (rumored to take place in ancient Egypt) should launch without the game breaking bugs.

It’s been almost two years since the launch of Unity. If one goes back to play it now, it’s a fairly smooth game and recent user reviews has been much more positive. Unfortunately, it still won’t be enough to change the public perception of the game.

No matter how much time it takes Ubisoft to get it right, it’ll be worth the wait. Users can look forward to a game they can play at launch without worrying about game breaking bugs, which will help review scores and sales numbers alike. It’s doubtful that Ubisoft would ever abandon the Assassin’s Creed franchise, what with the new movie coming out, but the new mindset when it comes to the game’s development is only going to help the franchise moving forward.