Assassin's Creed is completing its arc and going live service

*with a couple of the people accused of harassment and misconduct in leadership positions, because video games

This isn’t hugely surprising news given the trajectory of the franchise, but I guess I have more attachment to AC than I realized because it’s still a little disappointing. It’s disappointing to see Ubisoft commit fully to the idea that their games, or at least these games specifically, are just time sinks that never really end.

Maybe I enjoy the Assassin’s Creed that’s simply a historical tourism sim that I don’t need to think too hard about, or deal with any social friction, to enjoy. Kinda sucks if that’s going away because the market demands MORE.

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I might not be good at reading, but I’m not getting what the “game” would be that evolves. Is it just a small portion of a time period that grows and changes over time, and there’s a bunch of different eras? What is the monetization? Obviously they do not want to divulge at this time, but those questions really keep me from being even interested in what this becomes.

Now what would catch my interest would be a F2P or cheap revamp of the AC:Revelations multiplayer, now that was some unique multiplayer fun.

I’m going to put Ubisoft’s unwillingness to do more than what it took for the initial headlines to blow over for a minute aside for a minute.

I guess I’m not sure how this is different from what they’ve…been doing? Centralized set of technology they can use to sell multiple stories and MTX on top of that has literally been the business model since Brotherhood. Unless they’re planning on something like a Netflix model where they have two-ish characters for whom they release three-ish chapters per “season” or whatever. Like
-Fall 2024 release the first three chapters of Character A for free
-Winter 2025 release the first three chapters of Character B for money
-Spring 2025 back to Character A etc.
where you can buy individual content packs a la carte and some kind of Yearly Pass that gets you everything plus some amount of what will undoubtedly be a F2P currency.

This is purely speculation, but I can imagine a premise of “There are multiple DNA strands available to follow” with each time period acting as a sort of hub world where you take missions. Or maybe the modern day stuff will be the hub world and you take individual missions in the historical settings?

@DarthTythus I know it isn’t all that different, but I always found it super easy to ignore the truly superfluous content packs in more modern AC games; reading “Fortnite-like” makes me wonder how easy that’s gonna continue to be. We don’t know any monetization details at this point so it’s ultimately “Wait and see,” I suppose

Seems like locking the gate after the horse has bolted. Ubisoft has the best track record of any large company when it comes to live-service games (Seige, For Honor, The Divisions) but they’re not mainstream games in the same way as Assassin’s Creed AND the stench is already coming off the live-service idea.

Even the name ‘live-service’ or its corporate synonyms is liable to make The Gamers angry, and I’m sure nobody at Ubisoft wants a Battlefront 2 situation.

I haven’t played the latest AC but Odyssey was basically already a live-service game in terms of the sheer glut of time-sink content that it provided. These games are already designed to occupy so much real estate in your life that you don’t play anything else, and they’re the worse for it. A live-service model is probably more honest, for whatever that’s worth.

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They may well decide a year and a half from now to throw this whole idea out the window and build something out of the pieces they have, anyway. It’s super early yet. My only concern is, as you say, what does it mean to monetize a single-player experience like that? Bringing back the Assassin’s Bureau so you can sell blind boxes full of Assassins? Episodes? Some kind of base upgrade system that more or less forces you to upgrade? I think it’s theoretically possible but not in a way I can really get behind.

This will be Assassin’s Creed’s first strand-type game.

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Can’t wait for all the places and times people have been begging for an Assassin’s Creed game in to be time-limited events you need the Spring 2024 Assassin Pass to play.

I do have enough fondness for the series to be a bit disappointed, but also, after everything at Ubisoft last year, I didn’t buy Valhalla either so I guess they already lost me anyway.

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I bought Valhalla last year as a show of support for some of the Ubisoft folks on Twitter with whom I am reply-guy-friendly (they are no longer there but they are big Waypoint fans) but between their ongoing unwillingness to do the absolute minimum and some of their business decisions, I’m not sure how much more I’m willing to tolerate out of them.

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The state of ubisoft aside, I honestly wish more games would acknowledge that they’re basically in the same format as MMOs are now. Like, I’d really prefer to just subscribe to a game instead of having to buy like 5 different dlcs that function the same as mmo patches

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I mean, I don’t want to spend too much effort valorizing Activision-Blizzard, but can we popularize the WOW model again? I feel like things were much simpler back then.

Keep in mind the classic WoW model was “buy the game and the expansions, and pay a monthly subscription fee”.

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There is a huge difference between a subscription and buying individual DLCs, even if it’s the same price over a given time period.

If you’re just starting out, you usually don’t need to buy those DLCs until you’re much farther into the game. If you only play occasionally, you can likely skip some or all of the DLCs. People’s availability can vary widely from month to month (e.g. I sometimes have to travel a lot for work). If you’re thinking about coming back to a game, you can play for a bit to see if you still like it without paying money.

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Not to mention the GAAS games are in fact significantly cheaper than MMOs. A yearly subscription to WoW is about $150 USD last I checked, and that doesn’t include expansions. Destiny 2 on the other hand is about $80 USD for the yearly expansion and season passes for the year. Or $40 USD for just the expansion and forego the season passes (they aren’t critical to enjoyment IMO). The cost difference is stark and I don’t know why folks would want to go back to getting hosed.

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The one thing I can say for the classic MMO model is that they didn’t have any microtransactions. But modern MMOs have the box price, expansion price, subscription price, and microtransactions, so I don’t think we should be looking to MMOs to save us.

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I’d be furious if I were an AssCreed fan. Instead I’m merely worried considering great studios like Crystal Dynamics, Rocksteady, and now Platinum all trying to eat at this GAAS trough instead of making the games I’d like them to make.

In five years I’ll probably be playing nothing but indies considering these trends.

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Instead of fury or sadness, I feel relief. Assassin’s Creed had me fascinated with the first game in 2007, but to say that I think it ever reached anywhere near its potential would be a lie.
After the clumsy, yet very appealing and charming Ezio trilogy, AC 3 ended the overarching story that gave the history settings their purpose, with a whimper.

Black Flag, which came directly afterwards was imo the best game in the series in almost all regards, if I put away my nostalgia goggles for AC 2.

AC Unity was a beautiful looking clusterf*ck, which I still haven’t gotten completely over because of the butchering of the French Revolution setting and Syndicate felt like a poorly warmed up meal.

Origins somehow has the most aesthetically pleasing open world I’ve ever seen, but is rather boring from a gameplay and story perspective.

Odyssey’s world felt weirdly artificial compared to Origins and the gameplay felt like a bad hack’n slash attempt that even Kassandra’s phenomenal voice actress could’t save. It’s the only AC game I haven’t finished.

Finally, Valhalla’s gameplay is like a bloated corpse, yet weirdly the game has the most interesting story and characters since Black Flag imo, which is such a low bar that I’m not sure if it’s worth mentioning.

It’s been over a decade now and all of the original fascination I’ve felt in 2007 has utterly vanished.
If I only speak from the perspective of someone for whom Assassin’s Creed has meant an awful lot over the years, I can only once again say that this news fills me with relief. If the stuff about AC Infinity turns out to be true, I feel like this time I can finally let go for good.

So, to not be an annoying communist for once, I will do the corny Gamer thing and quote a fictional character at the end to express myself: Requiescat in Pace, Assassin’s Creed.

Now, an obligatory and principled: F*ck Ubisoft! For everything, not just Assassin’s Creed.

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I think AC has broadly nailed the main characters in each game and the premise is so delightfully weird that I still on balance like that it’s a smash hit but yeah it’s never come close to hitting its potential. The series at this moment feels like buying a KFC bucket to me. It’s fine in the moment but I can’t even think about another one for a year minimum.

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Everything you guys are saying about AC never reaching it’s full potential are all true… But Black Flag will always be personally important because it’s pretty much exactly the sort of pirate fantasy that 10 year old me would be obsessed with. I’d still like to play Rogue one of these days because it always seemed like the proper sequel, unlike Unity

Rogue is less a sequel and more of a DLC that got hit by Rita Repulsa’s staff but if you’re looking for More Black Flag But Okay Fine Matt Ryan (Constantine)'s Not In This One, Rogue will scratch that itch for you.