Ubisoft has announced that it will be shaking up its Assassin's Creed franchise for the next instalment. CEO Yves Guillemot revealed during the company's third quarter earnings report that Assassin's Creed 4 - for the sake of argument - will appear in fiscal year 2014 and feature an all-new hero.
In addition, the in-house development team will be different from the one which has handled the series until now. And it may even be released at a different point of the year than before. Assassin's Creed games are traditionally released to hit the Christmas market, but have to compete with many other triple-A titles, such as those in the Call of Duty, FIFA and WWE franchises (although the last is now up in the air thanks to THQ's bankruptcy).
Moving its release date may well present Ubisoft with a clean run for the title.
"We are delighted and proud to announce today that in financial year ’14, we will introduce an all-new Assassin’s Creed hero, within an all new team and time period, and we expect it to be another major leap forward for the franchise," said Guillemot.
"It is the benefit of multiple teams working on multiple chapters of the product, each getting several years to make their versions of an Assassin’s Creed game."
A further announcement on Assassin's Creed 4 is promised "very soon".
Of course, the next chapter could have been moved from its traditional release slot because of the imminent launch of the PS4 and the expected announcement of the Xbox 720 later. Those in the know believe that the PlayStation 4 at least will be released at the end of this year in Japan and possibly the US, while a European release may not happen until early 2014 - perhaps in time for the French company Ubisoft to bring out a certain game for it?
Ubisoft, after all, was a launch partner for the Nintendo Wii U.