After leaked marketing materials from earlier this week offered up a glimpse of a potential future sequel in the Assassin's Creed franchise--one that featured a sea-faring pirate as its protagonist, no less--all we could do was wait until Ubisoft got around to confirming or denying the existence of such a game. We did not have to wait long.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has been officially confirmed by Ubisoft as of today. Details on the game were not provided, but the new box art (which you can see embedded here in the story) certainly confirms both the title and the piratey aesthetic. The game is currently scheduled to release later this year for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Wii U. Probably other platforms too, if we're being honest, but as of now, those four platforms are all that's been announced.
Going full on pirate makes a fair amount of sense, considering it lets the development team keep a lot of the assets and gameplay concepts found in Assassin's Creed III--especially those pertaining to nautical combat. Still, I'm not exactly sold on that subtitle. Apart from the obvious punk rock connotations, the term "black flag" is generally more associated with the anarchist movement, going all the way back to the late 1800s. The traditional black with skull-and-crossbones pirate flag is typically referred to as a Jolly Roger, though that wouldn't necessarily make for as "dark" sounding a subtitle. Of course, the black flag could be in reference to the naval combat term, also known as a "false flag," wherein ships would fly false flags to lure in enemy ships. Or maybe it's a symbol of parley, a nautical tradition wherein ships would fly a black flag to signal to would-be attackers that they wish to discuss or confer terms.
This is why you should never let me use Wikipedia before my coffee's kicked in. We'll have more on Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag soon. Probably.