Few could have anticipated Assassin's Creed would have been such a blockbuster right out of the gate, but Ubisoft found itself with a major hit. Since then, Ubisoft has refined Assassin's Creed into an annual, Call of Duty-esque franchise. In 2009, there was Assassins' Creed II. In 2010, there was Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. And later this year, Ubisoft will finish Ezio's story with Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
"What is impressive with the release year after year of Assassin's Creed is our ability to deliver every time with a high level of innovation and creativity in a large and very diverse open world," boasted Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot on Ubisoft's fiscal year results call with investors today. "There is no other open world console game that is coming on a yearly basis. This is achieved through great execution by providing more resources and by putting in place a very compelling network of leads and associate studios."
At this point, the annual development of Assassin's Creed games has not just become a model for the Assassin's Creed franchise but a model that the publisher intends to apply across several franchises.
"We are applying the very [same] product template to our other strong franchises to bring them back to Assassin's Creed blockbuster profitable status," said Guillemot.
Concerns have been raised, starting with Brotherhood, that Ubisoft's approach would dilute the Assassin's Creed franchise, but the near-universal praise for Brotherhood means...well, maybe they can pull it off. We'll be getting our first look at Revelations in just a few weeks. Can Ubisoft do it again?