Assassin’s Creed Franchise Taken Over By Ubisoft Quebec
Ubisoft’s flagship development studio will no long be the force behind Ubisoft’s flagship franchise. As part of an expansion of their Quebec City studio, Ubisoft is moving their Assassin’s Creed franchise from the control of Ubisoft Montreal, home to all of Ubisoft’s triple-A franchises, to Ubisoft Quebec.
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has been the top franchise at Ubisoft since it replaced the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time trilogy upon its completion. It’s also been an annual franchise since Assassin’s Creed II in 2009. Since that point in time, Ubi Montreal added Far Cry and Watch Dogs as triple-A titles and continued their work on the Tom Clancy franchise.
Meanwhile, Ubisoft Quebec has been mostly a support studio to Montreal on the Assassin’s Creed franchise. They’re credited as helping with the development of AC: Brotherhood, Revelation and Unity along with DLC work for AC3’s Tyranny of King Washington and AC4’s Freedom Cry. They also did the Wii U ports of AC3 and AC4.
After this fall’s Assassin’s Creed Unity is finished, Ubi Quebec will take over the lead development on a future game in the franchise. Ubisoft told GameSpot that the reason for the move is because Montreal is at capacity with all its franchises and the belief internally is that Ubi Quebec is ready to take over the flagship game.
To support the additional work required to lead development of a triple-A franchise, Ubisoft announced a $28 million investment into their workspace in Quebec City. They are also expanding the studio’s talent pool up to 350 employees with plans to get to 425 by 2017.
Having never taken the lead on a triple-A title before, if I was still an AC fan, I would be a little concerned. I know that the AC franchise could use a little injection of fresh blood (even though AC4 was a bit of a revival for the franchise) but is this the right move. I look at Mass Effect getting moved from BioWare Edmonton to Montreal and their underwhelming Omega DLC for Mass Effect 3 as an example of why I’m concerned. Still, with actual hands-on AC experience, maybe an Ubisoft Quebec version of AC will turn out well. We’ll just have to wait and see.