Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed franchise has rarely seen significant delays. But in an interview with IGN, Ubisoft North American president Laurent Detoc explained that his company would break the annual release streak if an AC game turns out to be “not good enough.”
“If we think we’ve ended up with a 70 percent Assassin’s Creed game, we’re not going to ship it,” Detoc told IGN. “That damages the brand. I’m not going to give you the names of products, because you know them as well as I do, but if you start to make games at 70 percent, even with a big brand, eventually people are going to change their mind about that brand. They won’t want it anymore. That’s what saves the recurrence.”
Detoc also discussed the huge audience GTA 5 was able to garner and the importance of new fans for the AC franchise.
“There are 30 million people or so who have been playing Grand Theft Auto. Last year, to pick a round number, we had about 10 million people playing Assassin’s Creed. When we come up with an Assassin’s Creed the next year, there’s another 10 million brand new people who might be interested in the new setting, because of the new history, or the new naval battles and the pirates. It’s a variation on gameplay from even last year.
“You bring something fresh, but you have to bring quality too,” he continued. “There’s a lot of people who can play your game. We have fans who come back to the franchise and we’re very thankful for them, because we think we’re giving them a good game to play, and they give back to us when they buy it. But there’s a lot more people out there who we can sell games to.”
Ubisoft has been one of the few big publishers willing enough to delay their games. The french company has delayed games such as Rayman Legends, Watch Dogs, South Park, The Crew, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, etc. But despite these delays series such as Rocksmith, AC, and Just Dance haven’t faced the same dilemmas. Detoc also explained that this might be the result of the risk being taken with new and lesser known IP.
“I like to think that we don’t delay everything,” Detoc said. “It’s the reason for the delay that really matters. It’s a lot easier to predict the release of an Assassin’s Creed, because we understand what it takes. It’s a lot easier to predict a franchise that has more recurrence, for sure, than a new IP.”
Rumors are swirling around that two new Assassins Creed titles are in the works for 2014, whether or not they’ll get delayed is something we’ll have to wait for and see.