Ubisoft likely had high hopes for its Montreal studio's 2007 release Assassin's Creed, but even the publisher's forecasts were way off the mark when it came to the action adventure's actual sales performance. After a series of dramatic upward earnings revisions, Ubisoft revealed last May that Assassin's Creed and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 helped push the publisher to a 36 percent annual revenue hike, nearly tripling profits in the process.
Unsurprisingly, then, Ubisoft is putting its full weight behind Assassins' Creed 2. Speaking to UK-based gaming site NowGamer, producer Sebastien Puel said that more than 450 people are at work on Assassin's Creed 2, with 75 percent of the original team having returned to work on the sequel. Putting that figure into context, Puel went on to note that the Assassin's Creed 2 team "is about three times the size of the team of the first game."
Puel also emphasized the importance of carrying over such a significant portion of the original team. "Making [Assassin's Creed] from A to Z took around four years," he said. "It's a very good thing we are keeping most of the core members who envisioned the first Assassin's Creed. They know the project very well." According to NowGamer, Puel also said that many of the "thousands of ideas" planned for the first game are now being implemented into its sequel.
Officially unveiled in April, Assassin's Creed 2 is set in Renaissance-era Venice as well as the Tuscan countryside, following new protagonist Ezio. More information on the action adventure game is expected to arrive as part of the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, taking place in Los Angeles June 1-4.