Assassin's Creed III's "Big Jump" Only Possible Due to Annual Releases

The Wooster

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Jul 15, 2008
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Assassin's Creed III's "Big Jump" Only Possible Due to Annual Releases


Assassins Creed III is "really is as close as you could get to a big budget new IP this late in the hardware cycle."

At least, according to the game's creative director, Alex Hutchinson. The comment was made in an interview with Eurogamer, in which Hutchinson defended Ubisoft's decision to turn Assassin's Creed into a annual franchise. He argues that the guaranteed cash generated by yearly sequels allows the company to take bigger risks.

"The core team on this one has been working at it for almost three years, which is something you can almost never get in the industry these days - it's too expensive, too risky," he said. "So we need the other projects to support that kind of development - these big jumps."

"It's funny, people say it's about how often you release new entries, but I really think it's about how good they are," he added.

It does indeed. Last year's Assassin's Creed: Revelations was the most poorly received title in the Assassin's Creed II trilogy. In fact, its Metacritic score of 80 [http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/assassins-creed-revelations] makes it the lowest scoring title in the main series.

Hutchinson went on to argue that since Assassin's Creed sequels feature different characters in different settings, they're a lot like new IPs.

"Also, the beauty of Assassin's is that if you do it right it's kind of a new IP," he said. "It's still about navigation and combat, but it's a brand new hero, brand new setting, brand new fantasy. It really is as close as you could get to a big budget new IP late in the hardware cycle."

Hutchinson wouldn't confirm whether or not Assassin's Creed III will receive direct sequels in the same way Assassin's Creed II did.

"We also know players love new characters and radical changes so we're still figuring a few things out," he said. "I don't know. I think it would be kind of neat at some point to say 'Connor is a character, he lived in this big epic game, that's his story', instead of trying to drag it out too much."

Now the idea of a publisher hedging its bets by using guaranteed money spinners to generate income to cushion riskier, innovative projects isn't new, movie studios have been doing it for years. The idea, however, is that the riskier projects are generally new IPs that, over time, become money spinners in their own right. Instead, Ubisoft is producing sequels on a yearly basis in order to generate enough money to create bigger sequels.

Source: Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-06-08-assassins-creed-3s-big-jump-made-possible-by-annualised-releases]

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Dr.Panties

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Dec 30, 2010
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It's not a matter of saturating players with annual iterations. It's the fact that the core mechanics of the entire franchise are shithouse. Abject, automated slop, of which the developers should be ashamed. I have purchased and played every single console release of this series, and have been consistently disappointed. I will purchase Assassin's Creed III, but am hoping for this to change...lest this become the most overrated, bullshit franchise in the history of gaming.

Seriously, holding a single button and direction to traverse the environment, or tapping a single button to counter/conquer your opponents in combat, is the gaming equivalent of pointing a remote at the tv. It's not gameplay, it's a continuous quicktime event. Mindless, devoid of challenge or immersion. You give us this amazingly realised environment/world, and then force me feel like I'm watching someone else play a cool game.

Furthermore, your notions of "stealth" are absurd. "Blending"? That...oh, man...I just can't even tackle that one objectively without laughing. And how about the distinct lack of any mechanics that can even be equated with stealth? You know, like crouching, sneaking, illumination and darkness? You think a haystack suffices? Not one of the protagonists in any of these games has been an actual assassin. They've all been "brigands", or "thugs". "Assassins's" Creed is a misnomer, and your games suck.
 

Amnestic

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Aug 22, 2008
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Hutchinson went on to argue that since Assassin's Creed sequels feature different characters in different settings, they're a lot like new IPs.
That's not how IPs (in this case the gaming jargon term) work. It'd be akin to saying that because Halo Reach features new characters in a new setting, it's a different IP to Halo.

"It's still about navigation and combat, but it's a brand new hero, brand new setting, brand new fantasy. It really is as close as you could get to a big budget new IP late in the hardware cycle."
Wait, I thought Desmond was the hero? And the setting is still the Animus using future tech to look back into his genetic memories? Lead writer Matt Turner says Assassin's Creed 3 will feature more Desmond than ever before, and more present-day events than in any past installment. [http://www.joystiq.com/2012/04/03/assassins-creed-3-follows-desmond-more-than-ever/] (Apr 3, 2012).

Is that wrong? Do we have a new hero now? Did they suddenly decided to rewrite the entire direction of the game over the past two months?
 

Tony2077

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can someone make sense of this because I'm having a hard time deciding where i should put it
 

Lancer873

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So what does that make The Last of Us? Chopped lunkhead? Sorry but no. Even if it was a totally different game, it's still using the same IP, and I'm pretty sure the AC games have never differed from each other that much.
 

dragongit

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What about Watchdogs? Their own game that they are developing? Am I wrong to assume that it's an original IP and has a big budget? if it isn't, quit messing with Assasins creed and actually work on that new IP. Take a "risk"
 

Scrustle

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What? That's complete rubbish! Ubisoft themselves showed off a really original big budget new IP at E3 in Watch Dogs. And we have games like Dishonored, Beyond and The Last Of Us on the way too. And there are big risky sequels that have come out without the need of yearly instalments, like GTA 4. They may not be common but they do happen. You have to prove that you can be successful and consistently make quality games. High frequency is not necessary.
 

BrotherRool

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To be honest as long as they don't make me play the yearly games I don't mind. But having a sequel take 3 years to develop and actually change something isn't the revolutionary idea he's making out
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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Dr.Panties said:
uhhhh?

you hate the games

so you keep buying them...

and I think your kind of missing the "point" of the assasin order (or their original doctrin)
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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Amnestic said:
Hutchinson went on to argue that since Assassin's Creed sequels feature different characters in different settings, they're a lot like new IPs.
That's not how IPs (in this case the gaming jargon term) work. It'd be akin to saying that because Halo Reach features new characters in a new setting, it's a different IP to Halo.

"It's still about navigation and combat, but it's a brand new hero, brand new setting, brand new fantasy. It really is as close as you could get to a big budget new IP late in the hardware cycle."
Wait, I thought Desmond was the hero? And the setting is still the Animus using future tech to look back into his genetic memories? Lead writer Matt Turner says Assassin's Creed 3 will feature more Desmond than ever before, and more present-day events than in any past installment. [http://www.joystiq.com/2012/04/03/assassins-creed-3-follows-desmond-more-than-ever/] (Apr 3, 2012).

Is that wrong? Do we have a new hero now? Did they suddenly decided to rewrite the entire direction of the game over the past two months?
calm down there...

I think "new hero" isn't much of a strech of words, considering weve had alitiar..and then Ezio for a few games, the new guy is definetly a much needed addition
 

NinjaDeathSlap

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Feb 20, 2011
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I suppose he has a point, sort of, but this tactic is not without its risks either. Things we like can end up overstaying their welcome if we see them around too often (see Revelations), and games as large and open as AC games run the risk of being very rushed if they only have 1 year for a development cycle (again, see Revelations).
 

Dryk

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Dec 4, 2011
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"We put a different guy in the same outfit and moved it to America. Totally different game guys."

... who are they expecting to fall for this?!
 

Simonoly

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Oct 17, 2011
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Yet from what I can see from the E3 stage demo it's still going to have that same horrid combat system that has plagued every game in the series.

Oh well, at least we can crouch properly now.
 

halobolola

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Mar 3, 2011
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All of the stuff he said was just spin on 'reasons to churn out the same game each year'. its just an excuse to make their own cod.
i stopped at brotherhood, and doubt i will buy this one. imh it looks unbelievebly cartoon like
 

Casual Shinji

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Jul 18, 2009
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I suppose he has a point.

Doesn't make this new entry into the series feel any less bogged down by all the annual cash-in sequels that came before it though. Which were only 2, but that just goes to show how easy a franchise can grow stale.
 

lancar

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Aug 11, 2009
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As long as they can keep interest up... whatever works, I guess.

The environments have all been new, there has always been some new stuff added in each game, and the story is continously expanded upon.

Nintendo has been releasing revised versions of their core games for many years, and nobody seems to bat an eyelash over it.
Granted the AC games reuse their mechanics, graphical style and engine over and over, but at least it's not on the same level as EA sports titles where they just spruce up the graphics and change the roster every year.

Honestly, I can see their point. If they want to maintain their high-cost development model, they have to get the dosh for it somewhere. And in my opinion, while some of the AC titles haven't been great, they've at least been good enough.

Not to mention the franchise has been available for the PC, thus actually making me play it, something that can't be taken for granted this day and age.
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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NinjaDeathSlap said:
I suppose he has a point, sort of, but this tactic is not without its risks either. Things we like can end up overstaying their welcome if we see them around too often (see Revelations), and games as large and open as AC games run the risk of being very rushed if they only have 1 year for a development cycle (again, see Revelations).
yeah, the thing is I like assassins creed but I don't want to (or need to) play one every year, give me some time to actually get excited
Simonoly said:
Yet from what I can see from the E3 stage demo it's still going to have that same horrid combat system that has plagued every game in the series.

Oh well, at least we can crouch properly now.
Ive never had a problem with he combat

I've always had a problem with more and more shit being piled on top of whats already there
 

The Artificially Prolonged

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Jul 15, 2008
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The problem is that releasing annual iterations of a series can easily lead to fatigue on the players. I have played every Assassins Creed game since the first one but I have now got to the point where the games fail to excite me because every year it's the same. If Ubisoft hadn't made Brotherhood and Revelations I would be proper hyped for AC3 and bought it day one but as it is I'm likely not to pick it up for til much later, if at all.