Ubisoft is shifting the way it develops games in its flagship Assassin's Creed franchise, and will instead create future titles as collaborative projects between both Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Quebec.
This means that the two studios will no longer take turns leading development on each new Assassin's Creed entry, and will instead function as a collaborative, cross-studio development team on the series.
That new structure kicks off with a freshly announced, codenamed project that sounds suspiciously like a live game: Assassin's Creed Infinity.
"Rather than continuing to pass the baton from game to game, we profoundly believe this is an opportunity for one of Ubisoft’s most beloved franchises to evolve in a more integrated and collaborative manner that’s less centered on studios and more focused on talent and leadership, no matter where they are within Ubisoft," reads a blog post from Ubisoft.
Marc-Alexis Côté, creative director on Assassin's Creed Syndicate and a founding member of Ubisoft Quebec, is slated to lead the cross-studio development team with Assassin's Creed brand director and Ubisoft Montreal dev Étienne Allonier. Meanwhile, Watch Dogs Legion game director Clint Hocking is rejoining Ubisoft Montreal and is set to serve as Infinity's creative director alongside Assassin's Creed Odyssey creative director Jonathan Dumont.
"This change means we’re also evolving along with the video game industry. The pandemic and working from home have fundamentally changed the way we produce games, giving us a moment to reflect on our organization," continues the post.
"Most importantly, Assassin’s Creed has always been developed by multicultural teams with various backgrounds and perspectives that have influenced the depiction of its characters, locations, and cultures. While we know there’s always room for improvement, we believe this new structure allows us to ensure that diversity and representation within our teams continues to grow and match that of our players."
It's a rather significant shakeup to how Ubisoft handles one of its largest franchises, and one that follows several other changes over the past year or so including a recent pledge to shift away from its usual release schedule of "three to four premium triple-A titles per year" to one that is more welcoming of high-end, free-to-play games with a wider reach and longer tail.