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Ubisoft: Player satisfaction justifies Assassin's Creed sequels

Yannis Mallat "doesn't see the day" when annual sequels become a problem for hit franchise

Ubisoft Montreal boss Yannis Mallat does not subscribe to the notion that annualised sequels for franchises like Assassin's Creed create player fatigue.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Mallat claimed that the only way to judge the validity of such a strategy is through player satisfaction, and in that respect Assassin's Creed seems to be heading in exactly the right direction.

"Right now there are more and more coming into the franchise, so I don't see that day," he said. "It's our breakthrough. When you have quality content, the frequency of coming out with the game is not an issue at all.

"On the contrary, people expect more and more of that content. So it's natural to be able to provide that content. The gamers are happy and it's our job to make them happy."

Assassin's Creed 3 has sold 12 million units to date, making it both the most successful game in the series and the biggest launch in Ubisoft's history. Importantly, it was also the series' fifth full console release, and the fourth in four years.

However, Mallat believes that the rate of production needn't have a negative impact on quality. Ubisoft has seven studios all over the world working on the franchise, giving the core teams on each instalment time to develop their ideas, and ensuring that the same staff don't work on consecutive projects.

"That's why every Assassin's Creed has one dedicated core team working more than one year on their projects," he said. "We call that a roadmap. It takes into account the creative content - the settings, the where and what - the technology and the team.

"What I described with the roadmap is we have several teams. So they are resting. The team that has delivered Assassin's Creed 3, they're not working on Black Flag. They're resting. They are refreshing their minds and then working on something else that is not announced."

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Latest comments (6)

Paul Smith Dev 3 years ago
The series is getting weaker and weaker I pre-ordered revelations and 3, won't be doing the same this year.
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Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
AC is a series with a strong underlying plot. Diluting the series with excessive iterations will only destroy its value.

Financially I can see the rationale behind milking its success, but creatively milking does nothing but subtract from the concept.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters3 years ago
To me it's not so much the diluting of a franchise, after all if you're fed up of a series then just don't buy it. But what is a problem is when you look at the shelf in a game shop and see nothing but sequels. There's very little choice for picking something you haven't seen before. To me it's not about whether the series gets worse, it's about missing what new stuff they could have used those resources to make if they were less risk averse and wanted to actually make a broader market.
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Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd3 years ago
@Dave: True, the first 3 series of Friends are unaffected by the 7 unnecessary milk-a-thons that followed.

Though you mention a key word: risk. Perhaps digital distribution can allow for new ways to validate game concepts. Imagine a climate where prototypes were played by the public, whereby successful prototypes were developed further and so on. Sure there are plenty of issues there, but something's gotta give.
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Christophe Danguien games developer 3 years ago
Why don't they simply asked the gamers who bought the last AC if they want a sequel or if they want closure on it and have it as a real trilogy as announced ?
I think people expected AC3 to be awesome and most people I know who got the game didn't even bother finishing it because it was bad.

Ubisoft just wants to try to make more money instead of respecting gamers ( i.e Rayman incident on Wii U ). They're just proving again they don't give a damn about gamers...
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Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster3 years ago
I will probably buy up to two more, just to see the story finish. Not saying AC3 I found especially long, but more fine grained fast travel would have made that game soo much better. (Had it on SSD on PC so can't comment on loading screens).

If they haven't finished the story by then, I'll have to consult the wiki because there's no way it'll be any interesting by then unless they manage to bring some serious plot and format twists (e.g Assasins come into modern times or something).

They've killed off all the characters I cared about anyway, except for that librarian guy who writes your start menu... he reminds me of a certain famous PC Gamer writer I'm very much a fan of.
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