Patrice Desilets, the creative director who oversaw Assassin's Creed 1, 2 and Brotherhood, has announced the first game for his new Panache studio at Reboot Develop in Dubrovnik.
The new game, entitled Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey was announced in a short teaser which referenced scientific and cultural milestones from present day back to prehistory, with the game itself seemingly focusing on the entirety of human history. The game will be episodic, with Desilets looking to scale up his six person team quickly in order to move forward. We'll have more details when we speak to Desilets in an interview later this week, but during that interview, Desilets offered an alternative one line description: "Assassin's Creed meets Civilization".
The announcement came during a presentation entitled "15 Years + of AAA: What Now?" Desilets spoke about his 18 years of development history, the lessons he's learned and his thoughts on the future of the medium. He'd previously given a similar talk at Gamelab Barcelona, which you can watch in the video below.
Desilets founded Panache in November last year, having left Ubisoft in 2010 to found THQ's new Montreal studio. The split was far from amicable, with Ubisoft obtaining an injunction which prevented him from starting work at the new studio until 2011. When THQ went under in 2013, Ubisoft bought the studio, and Desilets was fired. The game he was working on at the time, the Amsterdam based 1666, ceased production. Desilets has since attempted to regain the rights for development, suing Ubisoft. That case is ongoing, he told the audience, and not something he's prepared to give up on.
"Contrary to any statements made earlier today, this morning I was terminated by Ubisoft," Desilets said at the time, contradicting Ubisoft's press release. "I was notified of this termination in person, handed a termination notice and was unceremoniously escorted out of the building by two guards without being able to say goodbye to my team or collect my personal belongings.
"Ubisoft's actions are baseless and without merit. I intend to fight Ubisoft vigorously for my rights, for my team and for my game."
Opening his talk Desilets was keen to point out that he bore no ill will to the people of Ubisoft, saying he believed it was a company full of talent and potential. He declined, however, to elaborate on the subject of 1666: Amsterdam other than to say that the lawsuit to recover the rights was ongoing, and that he'd learned an awful lot about the chapter 11 bankruptcy legislation.
Desilets has a long standing belief that AAA games can become a healthy, inclusive and profitable market once more, arguing that advances in development and digital distribution put AAA production values well within the reach of even relatively small indie teams.