Assassin's Creed annual release 'works in our favor,' Ubisoft says

The mission design director for Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Falco Poiker, talks about the series' annual release schedule and development challenges.

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Assassin's Creed: Revelations mission design director Falco Poiker--who also worked on Brotherhood and the Splinter Cell games--says that the annual release schedule the series adopted after the release of Assassin's Creed 2 is beneficial, despite significant time constraints. "The time actually kind of works in our favor, he explained in a recent interview. "We go one direction and we go with it. If there's problems, oh well, we'll fix it along the way."

In an interview with Edge magazine, Poiker--who's also in charge of policing Revelations' historical accuracy--acknowledges that with an annual release plan, "time is definitely not on our side." But he also says that working under the pressure of time necessitates a focus that projects with more lax schedules can lack. "It gives an impetus to the team and we find a direction that we say we're going to run in," he said, "and there's very little of the indecision that comes with teams that spend two, three, four years developing games."

The proposition of assembling a 180-person teams in just a few months and building such expansive games in under a year may sound foolhardy on paper, but given the praise the recent games in the series have garnered, Poiker's confidence in the process is understandable. It would seem that as long as you're able to assemble a big enough team--and aren't building a new game engine from scratch--even annual installments of high-quality open-world sandbox action games are possible.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 13, 2011 1:30 PM

    Jeff Mattas posted a new article, Assassin's Creed annual release 'works in our favor,' Ubisoft says.

    The mission design director for Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Falco Poiker, talks about the series' annual release schedule and development challenges.

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      October 13, 2011 3:20 PM

      So charging $60 a year for the same game over and over is better then making a new interesting game? Or even change some of the gameplay instead of just adding to the story.

      "We go one direction and we go with it. If there's problems, oh well, we'll fix it along the way."

      Worst idea ever.

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        October 13, 2011 3:38 PM

        Oh I bet that works in their favor. It works for COD.

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        October 13, 2011 3:50 PM

        This new game doesn't seem to be the same as AssBro. There seem to be many innovations, I don't know how you can say they are the same.

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          October 13, 2011 8:42 PM

          Its the same because there 30 guys standing in a circle attacking you 1 at a time and you press 1 key to kill them and go to the next guy. I played 1, 2, and5 minutes of 3 and noticed its the same thing.

          Get orders.
          Run on roof tops to objective.
          Kill guy.
          Go back to original spot.

          Go to new spot.
          Get orders.
          Run on roof tops to objective
          etc.

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            October 13, 2011 11:42 PM

            Nex thing you're going to say all games are the same because it's start the game, play it, beat it, watch the credits.

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            October 14, 2011 12:13 AM

            if you don't like the game don't buy it. just remember that you're wrong.

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            October 14, 2011 1:18 AM

            Hey that's kind of like most FPSes where it's get orders, go through corridors or open world, kill guy or grab item, go to drop off location.

            It sounds to me like you didn't get to the crypt or da Vinci locations.

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        October 13, 2011 3:57 PM

        There's not ONE team taking 1 year to do each new AC release. There is multiple teams working on concurrent releases. It can take up to 3-4 years to develop a AAA titles.

        For the consumer, it doesn't change the quality and it's transparent. It's a logical choice for game studios, especially with a popular brand.

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        October 13, 2011 4:00 PM

        Strange considering AC2 and ASSBRO were both fantastic titles.

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          October 13, 2011 8:38 PM

          I bet you think the COD series is a fantastic title too. Its the same thing over and over I just don't get it.

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            October 13, 2011 8:49 PM

            Derp Blerp Gerp Jerp Terp Yerp Herp Terp Verp Zerp. That's what i just read.

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            October 13, 2011 8:52 PM

            Uniqueness != a good game.

            If you have a solid, fun, and deep (AssCreed, not COD) game, what's the harm in releasing sequels to continue the fun?

            You need to relax dude.

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            October 13, 2011 8:55 PM

            Then don't buy it. I liked AC2 and ASSBRO was better in a lot of regards. I will buy the next one too because guess what? Its my money.

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            October 13, 2011 9:23 PM

            Have you played those games or are you just seeing "lol, annual release must be the same game repackaged?"

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              October 13, 2011 9:35 PM

              I played 1, 2 and about 5 minutes of the third one. They were all the same thing with different stories.

              Maybe I'm just not dumb enough to spend $60 a year for the same thing.

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                October 13, 2011 9:35 PM

                what do you spend money on?

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                October 13, 2011 9:49 PM

                hahaha how naive and shallow

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                October 13, 2011 10:14 PM

                Just wanted to confirm that your "fun fucking game" meter is indeed broken.

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                October 13, 2011 11:22 PM

                If you can honestly say that AC1 and 2 were "the same thing" you're completely insane.

                There really is no other option; the improvements in virtually every part of the game, ranging from mission variety to the fucking menu system were all crystal clear and undeniable.

                Basically, if that's an opinion you honestly feel is true I have absolutely zero interest in hearing your other opinions on gaming (except perhaps for their comedy value).

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                October 14, 2011 1:16 AM

                This is an amazing thing, I know, but some people play games for the story.

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            October 13, 2011 9:42 PM

            I do, it's pretty great. COD:MW1 and 2 were fun to play.

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            October 13, 2011 10:40 PM

            Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and MW2 were all pretty stellar titles. Even the other ones in the series, while in my opinion no where near the quality of 1, 2, and 4, were still solid shooters if not anything spectacular. So calling the CoD series fantastic is, I think, a perfectly valid opinion.

            I could understand getting upset when a company just churns out sequels that don't even try to improve on the original formula, but in Assassin's Creed case, they consistently do manage to improve the gameplay with each iteration. And beyond that they are constantly moving forward their story (which regardless of personal opinions) is in fact a motivator for some people to buy, since people want to know what's going to happen next.

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            October 13, 2011 11:19 PM

            My issues with COD have much more to do with the scripted, linear gameplay and disjointed plots than the fact that they come out once a year.

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            October 14, 2011 1:15 AM

            I didn't like MW2 or Black Ops like I did the predecessors. Perhaps you just don't get it and are stupid enough to try and burn people in such a manner on an internet thread.

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        October 13, 2011 10:59 PM

        Dude, you're crazy. The AC games are some of the best I've played.

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        October 14, 2011 7:46 AM

        * D E M O N 4 2 3 1 ' D *

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      October 13, 2011 3:56 PM

      UbiSoft tried the yearly release schedule with their previous "biggest" franchise as well, Splinter Cell.

      1. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (2002)
      2. Pandora Tomorrow (2004)
      3. Chaos Theory (2005)

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        October 13, 2011 3:57 PM

        Oops I think most of my post got cut off. Lemme try that again.

        --------

        UbiSoft tried the yearly release schedule with their previous "biggest" franchise as well, Splinter Cell.

        1. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (2002)
        2. Pandora Tomorrow (2004)
        3. Chaos Theory (2005)

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          October 13, 2011 3:58 PM

          WTF Ok I guess I had some greater/less than signs (made to look like arrows), in my post, and that has somehow broken my post

          MODs can you delete all 3 of these posts and I will repost without the greater/less than signs?

          Thanks you :)

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      October 13, 2011 3:59 PM

      UbiSoft tried the yearly release schedule with their previous "biggest" franchise as well, Splinter Cell.

      1. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (2002)
      2. Pandora Tomorrow (2004)
      3. Chaos Theory (2005) the third and best of series
      4. Double Agent (2006) least-favourite of series
      5. Conviction (2010)

      And it was following the 3rd game in Splinter Cell -- the best of the series, a.k.a. Chaos Theory -- that it started showing signs of creative lackluster. After Chaos Theory they lost their creative director genius, Clint Hocking. The 4th game was the fans' least-favourite of the series. And then on the 5th game came the long wait and the reboot.

      Will Assassin's Creed follow the same fate? Reboot after Ass: Rev?

      The AssCreed team has already lost the creative director behind the first 3 games (Patrice Desilet; who left when his work on the 3rd game was essentially done and he went uncredited on it)

      1. AssCreed
      2. AssCreed 2
      3. AssBro (the third and best of series)
      4. AssRev
      5. Ass Reboot?


      I'm just making conversation of course. Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed (and also Prince Of Persia) have made UbiSoft my favourite developed of the last 10 years (by far), and I've loved all of those games.

      The similarities in the SC/AC releases just intrigued me.

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        October 13, 2011 7:22 PM

        I don't think that Ubisoft is going to wait several years and do a reboot. If they did, that would mean that they either:

        1) abandoned their plans at a trilogy and finished Desmond's story in Revelations, or
        2) abandoned Desmond's story, or
        3) resolved Desmond's story several years down the road when it's alt-history instead of the near future.

        (3) would just be strange. (2) would piss people off. (1) is possible but seems silly when they can pretty well guarantee great sales if they resolved the story in Assassin's Creed III as originally planned.

        We might see a reboot after a 2012 Assassin's Creed III, but I'll be gobsmacked if we don't have a third game next year.

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        October 13, 2011 7:29 PM

        The difference here is they have several huge teams working on the games so the quality isn't being compromised and each offers new areas, tools, weapons, gameplay and multiplayer elements.

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        October 13, 2011 9:01 PM

        [deleted]

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        October 14, 2011 3:45 AM

        Pretty interesting stuff, except that Pandora Tomorrow was the best of series. An honest mistake, I understand.

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      October 14, 2011 2:31 AM

      hey if they can keep producing the kind of stuff they've been, I'm all for it!

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      October 14, 2011 5:16 AM

      How awesome is to be named "FALCO POIKER"?

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      October 14, 2011 6:45 AM

      I picked up the 2nd one for 15 dollars during a sale, assbro i just bought for 11 off amazon direct download. Yes ill play them, Yes they are fantastic, no im not paying 60 dollars for the same engine and the same gameplay. Yes i will pay 15 dollars for a new enticing storyline and gameplay mechanics. Not worth 60 at release. Worth 40 at release unless its a whole new engine/story/arc and location.

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      October 14, 2011 1:05 PM

      Wait wait.. Didn't the creative director or someone from Ubisoft say they wanted to take a break from Assassin's Creed and NOT do annual releases as it would probably dilute the series?

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