Cutting naval multiplayer from ACIV was "heartbreaking" says creative director

Ashraf Ismail says "I lose a lot of sleep over that one" regarding cutting multiplayer mode from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag; future-set Assassin's Creed game unlikely.

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Cutting the naval multiplayer mode from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was "heartbreaking," creative director Ashraf Ismail said today during a PAX Prime panel.

"I lost a lot of sleep over that one," Ismail said.

He explained that Ubisoft created multiple prototypes for the game mode that were "awesome," and the scope was "really huge."

"It really broke my heart the day we decided to cut it from the game," Ismail recalled.

Though there won't be naval multiplayer in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Ismail suggested a similar game mode could be featured in an upcoming game "if [Black Flag] does really well."

During a question and answer session, Ismail was asked about the potential for a future-set Assassin's Creed game. He responded by saying he would be "shocked" if the series jumped into the future.

Explaining the decision to look back instead of forward, Ismail said Ubisoft's mantra for the series is "history is our playground."

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag launches October 29 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U. The Xbox One and PS4 versions will be launch titles for those platforms, while the PC version will be released sometime after the current-generation iterations.

For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

Discussion

318 comments
DigiRave
DigiRave

Shit happens, and things get cut from productions, even after you have put your soul into it to create what you consider a great work. It can be painful, but that's what happens, and something that a person needs to learn to accept.

projectpat72988
projectpat72988

Went from beyond excited about anything to do with AC post AC2 up until AC3. After AC3...I no longer care about the series AT ALL and have zero plans on spending money on further titles....and that belief is bleeding over into Ubisoft games in general. Tying up things with Desmond was incredibly unsatisfying for the sake of prolonging a series that should have ended. You basically killed off the MAIN CHARACTER OF THE SERIES in a completely non-meaningful way for the sake of making more games. A unique great game turned into yearly installments? This guy is so full of it....lost sleep over it? REALLY? Everyone knew that naval battles were so well loved that MP for them was obviously going to be the next big thing. Theres no way in **** Ubisoft the now turned cashcow company don't have plans for DLC or yet again ANOTHER game.  I mean really? This tired series has Black Flag not even out yet and they are already hinting at ANOTHER game? The story used to have me on the edge of my seat it was so interesting and now its just "well. another seemingly BIG DEAL of a reason to continue things that will basically not matter in the end"

adward22
adward22

i hope ubisoft make time period of next assassins creed series about saumrai ,ninja and shugan age in japan empire ..................:)

PaulJanson
PaulJanson

I don't see what the big deal is about. I don't even know how it would even work in terms of balanced gameplay unless it would have an Rpg element...........or else it'll just be very broken. What I mean is, it CAN happen but not for COMPETITIVE multiplayer.

asifah30
asifah30

Well guys I think its all about Money-making business strategy......you know how???

I am sure they were able to add multiplayer  in the game but Ubisoft saw that AC IV has already got lot of pre-orders, biggest gaming review favoritism, great hype and attention [attention = money] so now its time for AC V or sequel of AC IV. Extract that attractive multiplayer and put it in the upcoming installment to get more revenue.......thats it.....Ashraf Ismail is just doing his job.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

I'm fine with this. The multiplayer variant they have now is all it needs, they've spent this long fine tuning the mechanics of it. Adding something entirely new, like naval battle, would require an entire overhaul in how the combat's handled, assuming we'd be able to board enemy ships. It's just a mess, and Assassin's Creed has never been about naval battle, as fun as it might've been in AC3.

It's fine if they're going to incorporate it into the campaign but leave multiplayer out of it.

edt89
edt89

Translation: We've yet again forced an AC game out as quickly as possible at the expense of it's truly unique features.

obsequies
obsequies

yeah it will be dlc or a whole new game the enxt year

FTB_Screamer
FTB_Screamer

Don't worry, there there......I'm sure you'll put it into Ass:V

ChristysXmas
ChristysXmas

They can make a separate game out of it. Some MMO maybe. Could be fun.

D1N02982
D1N02982

The naval battles in AC3 weren't that great anyway!

snaketus
snaketus

Yeah, it's gonna be 15 euro DLC!

JurgenR
JurgenR

Naval battle kinda looks like Pirates of the Caribbean for the original Xbox.

Noonewarrior
Noonewarrior

People's choice have made so many changes with gaming and new system changes over the last 3 months to me this is a good indication that us as the consumer have some control in the final product if we all stood together in situations like this changes will happen.

Noonewarrior
Noonewarrior

wasn't the multiplayer aspect of this game a drawcard, I sort of remembered in the video the guy saying "and over there in the background there are other players battling, if we wanted we could go over there and try to win the battle and then plunder their ship" that is the sort of thing that was making me go uum maybe this will be better than the previous AC games not just an open world title. Makes me think now maybe I might need to rent it out before I think about buying it.

ddoggbritt16
ddoggbritt16

theyll probably just release it as day 1 dlc

amrit500
amrit500

I loved the AC series. AC1 was brilliant but flawed. AC2 was one of my favourite games of all time. But AC3 was a disappointment, and after Brotherhood and Revelations that, for me at least, was three consecutive lacklustre games. I'm not writing off buying AC4 but I'll wait for the reviews first before I sink another £39.99 in this franchise.....  The fact that they're scrapping some MP hopefully means they can focus more heavily on Single player, which is a good thing for me :) 

AceJakk
AceJakk

Wait, so if a game that doesn't have naval battles sells well, they might make a game with naval battles? Who are these people who get paid to make these decisions?

Also, a future set Assassin's Creed is unlikely because they turned that idea into another IP called Watch Dogs. Now there will be two franchises with annual iterations that will destroy what was once worthwhile and unique.

highlanderjimd
highlanderjimd

Fuck off. Whats happend to the AC series is HEARTBREAKING for us proper fans!

BadMrSnake
BadMrSnake

How about we cancel the crappy AC4 game & make a full navel combat game!

mucking_foron
mucking_foron

So no poo pirates running around in November? awwww

Gjinckxs85
Gjinckxs85

Good! I'm glad it's heartbreaking. Assassin's Creed is a singleplayer game, not a multiplayer game!


focuspuller
focuspuller

I'm excited for the new AC game. Ship combat looks fun, and I'm also excited for the size of the world, combat style and it's also probably a beautiful looking game.

Wow look at that, I said something NICE ABOUT THE GAME!

QuickNQuiet
QuickNQuiet

Am I the only person not l;ooking forward to even the singleplayer ship gameplay? I didn't like it in AC3, it didnt feel like assassins creed, I hope the next AC after this will have a better developer and get the story back on track to hopefully make it as great as it once was

SweatySasquatch
SweatySasquatch

They cut naval warfare game play, so that the multiplayer could be the same generic thing it has been since Brotherhood.

projectpat72988
projectpat72988

Altair...Ezio...Connor...Desmond...and in the end? NONE of it really mattered.

Scarab83
Scarab83

@Noonewarrior No, that video wasn't showcasing other players. That was NPC's in the single player.

19James89
19James89

@highlanderjimd I agree, this franchise should have ended with the finale of Ezio's journey. Each passing Assassin's Creed game is getting worse and worse to the point where I just cannot invest £39.99 in Assassin's Creed IV.

PaulJanson
PaulJanson

@Gjinckxs85 Honestly, who are you to tell the people that created the game what kind of game it is? Any game can have Multiplayer if the gameplay is pretty good.

highlanderjimd
highlanderjimd

@QuickNQuiet I agree the ship stuff was quaint but certainly should not be anywhere near a major part of the game

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Scarab83 @D1N02982 Because when I think games where you play an assassin, I know I envision some guy piloting a ship yelling out orders to shoot cannons.

wyan_
wyan_

@19James89 @highlanderjimd I was done at AC1, so I don't know how you guys have hung on so long. I do check on the newer versions though because it kinda looks cool.

xXl_z3r0_lXx
xXl_z3r0_lXx

@highlanderjimd @QuickNQuiet At least it makes sense in AC IV. Since it's going to be your main form of travel now, shooting up some bad guys in the ocean to pass the time from here to there actually sounds kind of nice. It just felt tacked on in ACIII as something that was just there so they could call it new.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Scarab83 @Thanatos2k Thematically INCONSISTENT is more like it.

What the hell does "overly Japanese bullshit" even mean?  How is it relevant to them making a game that is tonally consistent with itself?

Or are you just a moron who likes shooting cannons?

Scarab83
Scarab83

@Thanatos2k No one cares. I'd rather have something thematically unique like this than some overly Japanese bullshit game.

19James89
19James89

@emperiox Nothing, if that is what you enjoy playing, it's what you enjoy playing.