Assassin's Creed is essentially Ubisoft's Call of Duty - a game that has seen a major entry for the past few years and sold well in each incarnation. While some have been critical of annualizing the franchise, Assassin's Creed creative director Alex Hutchinson doesn't see anything wrong with the tactic.
"Since when is something less amazing if you get a new one every year?" he said to CVG. "If Breaking Bad was shown twice a week I'd watch it twice a week. If Radiohead put out an album every six months I'd gladly buy one every six months."
Hutchinson says that the business of AAA gaming practically demands that sequels be produced, given the investment required to make those experiences. "If people want these massive triple-A blockbusters, people will have to accept that we have to make our money back somehow," he said. "It's rare that you'll make your money back on the first one. Assassin's Creed 3 is a huge undertaking - we went back to basics on a number of things, including tech."
"Any revenue that a publisher can get to make riskier projects is cool with me," he added. "People say it's the dark side of capitalism but it's more like communism; we have big projects whose success pay for the little projects."
The creative director noted that while Assassin's Creed was originally conceived as a trilogy, it's evolved into more than that now. "The way we see Assassin's Creed now is as a franchise, like Mario or Resident Evil, that will have its ups and downs. It wasn't the original plan to be an ongoing series, no, but it became the plan. The curse of success, for want of better phrase."
"But if you can keep a series interesting and fresh then I don't see why it shouldn't go on. Nintendo has been great at reinvigorating their franchises, as have other Japanese companies, so we feel we can too," he concluded.