Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is a next-gen game (gasp!), and will feature a few new, special systems on console versions, such as a "connected" single-player mode, creative director Jean Guesdon says in an internal Q&A unearthed by All Games Beta.
"Next-gen versions will bring to the players new, connected features allowing them to feel that even if they remain 'single player,' it will be better to be a 'single connected player,'" Guesdon says. "I mean that next-gen Consoles will allow players to have a solo experience that benefits the presence of a huge community."
Guesdon doesn't go into detail about the connected systems. He does outline a few more tidbits about the game, including the "horizon system," which provides characters aboard the ship with "pirate opportunities," side-quests specific to an individual player's progress. Ubisoft has six studios working on Black Flag: Montreal, Singapore, Sofia and Québec working on single-player content, and Annecy and Bucharest developing multiplayer.