I don't think there's going to be an Assassin's Creed in 2011. I think we're going to let it breathe a bit and really focus on bringing something new and exciting for the next time around." -- Ubisoft associate producer Jean-Francois Boivin, July 2010, before being overridden.
We didn't buy it and, deep down, we don't think Mr. Boivin did either, who also warned that "business can come back and override everything I say because at the end of the day it's about selling games."
It's about selling over 1 million copies, as Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood has done within its first week in Europe. Geoffroy Sardin, Ubisoft's marketing and sales chief for Europe, Middle East and Asia, shared the news with MCV and clarified that another -- and, more importantly -- "big" Assassin's Creed game would launch in 2011. "Yes, Yves [Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO] mentioned it last week in our financials – and more details will be forthcoming," Sardin said. "But what I can say is that next year we will have another big Assassin's Creed game."
Launching just a year after Assassin's Creed 2, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood has won critics over with its representation of Rome and its innovative, unusually paced multiplayer mode. According to Sardin, 60 percent of Brotherhood owners have wielded a hidden blade in the online crowd, and Ubisoft intends to support that player base with regular doses of DLC. The first new map and additional mode will be available in December for free.
As Boivin has stated before, the successful multiplayer component will likely remain an integral part of Assassin's Creed for the foreseeable future, but how it will fit into the next big game is a matter of speculation. We'll likely learn more within the next six months, unless Ubisoft makes the effort to defy predictions. With another game so soon, the onus is on the developer's massive workforce to preserve the element of surprise.