Before working on Assassin's Creed, Quebec made low-profile original games
Assassin's Creed co-dev says annual release 'is a boon,' but wants more 'ownership'
Co-development allowed Quebec to hone their craft. "Focus brings polish. We often complain as developers that we don't have enough time to polish the features we're working. But when you're a co-dev partner, you will focus on a limited number of features, and those features--you will be able to polish them... and the team will take a lot of pride in the final product because it is polished." Working with Montreal on Assassin's Creed has also made the team stronger. "Talent rubs off on people," Cotes said, adding that "my Quebec City team has grown faster by working with the top talent from Montreal." From a co-development perspective, Cotes believes that Assassin's Creed's annualized development is actually a good thing. "Shipping a game every year is a boon rather than a hindrance," he said. "In this industry, you are only as good as the last game that you shipped. You need to be able to make the hard choices that come with shipping a game--that's how we learn, and Assassin's Creed has given us this opportunity." However, in spite of all the benefits co-development brought to the Quebec studio, Cotes doesn't believe that kind of relationship can be permanent. Eventually, the studio will want to move away from the shadow of the lead studio. "I don't think teams can be co-dev partners forever," he said. "While we do get more ownership with every project we undertake, I think that at one point you want to be able to do it by yourself and show that you can do the whole thing by yourself." Unfortunately, that opportunity may not come any time soon. The studio is currently working on Assassin's Creed 4, coming later this year.