When Assassin's Creed 4 was first revealed, many fans of the series hoped it would spawn the return of the Alliance multiplayer game type - a special variation on deathmatch that pits three teams of two players against one another.

According to lead multiplayer designer Tim Browne, however, this sort of online combat just wouldn't work in Ubisoft's latest action-adventure.

"The reason Alliance can't come back is that it uses 3 teams of 2 players," Browne said during a recent Twitter Q&A session. "None of the game systems support 3 teams any longer." Not only does this spell doom for the Alliance mode, it also negates any other multiplayer modes that might have relied on more than two teams of combatants. Browne offers no details on the technical hurdles preventing Alliance and modes like it from working properly, but his answer does hit that special level of disappointing candor that usually indicates honesty in this industry.

It is hypothetically possible that Ubisoft's development team could rework some of those basic features Browne mentions to enable Alliance mode and others that rely on multiple teams of players, but based on how blunt Browne's denial of this possibility was, you probably shouldn't hold your breath.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.