Primary Assassin's Creed Development Duties Shift to Different Ubisoft Studio

Ubisoft explains why Ubisoft Quebec is taking over for Ubisoft Montreal as the lead developer of Assassin's Creed.

by

Update: Ubisoft has issued a statement to GameSpot explaining why this move was made. "Quebec is taking on the role of lead studio for a future next-gen AC game because they've built up the experience and the talented teams to do so, thanks in part to their close work with Montreal on previous AC titles (from Brotherhood through Unity)," Ubisoft's Michael Burk tells us. "They're committed to bringing something new and creative to the franchise."

As it turns out, Montreal isn't permanently bowing out of the lead developer position for Assassin's Creed. "Montreal will continue to be a lead studio for other AC titles, and Montreal and Quebec will continue to collaborate with each other and with other Ubisoft studios on future games' development," Burk says. "That's key for making sure each Assassin's Creed title offers a fresh perspective, with new context, new stories and new characters, for players. Montreal is our largest studio and has plenty of creative capacity to focus on many of our biggest brands, including Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Rainbow Six, Watch Dogs and more."

Original Story: Ubisoft's crown jewel, the Assassin's Creed franchise, is undergoing a shift, as the company today announced plans to have Ubisoft Quebec lead development of future games in the series.

This move takes the lead development duties out of the hands of Ubisoft Montreal, the longtime primary developer of the series.Quebec doesn't come in lacking any experience with Assassin's Creed; it's contributed to the series since 2010's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, having worked on Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Assassin's Creed III's Tyranny of King Washington DLC, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's Freedom Cry DLC.

"Since 2010, our understanding of the franchise has increased each year," said Ubisoft Quebec managing director Nicolas Rioux in an interview the official Ubisoft blog. He added, "We have the confidence of the brand team and also from Ubisoft to take leadership of an upcoming Assassin's Creed title. The team is ready for the next big step."

Quebec certainly doesn't lack for manpower; it has more than 350 people at its disposal and has plans to reach 425 employees by 2018. Presumably Ubisoft will continue to have multiple studios working on each Assassin's Creed game--ten studios, including Quebec and Montreal, are at work on the upcoming Assassin's Creed Unity. It's unclear what role Ubisoft Montreal will play in the series going forward; even while leading development on the series, it's continued to work on a multitude of other projects, including Watch Dogs and Far Cry 4. We also don't know exactly why Ubisoft is making this move, but we've contacted the company for comment and will report back with anything we learn.

Coinciding with this news regarding Assassin's Creed is word that Ubisoft plans to relocate its Quebec operations. It will be moving the studio to a new location in the St-Roch district of Quebec in spring 2016 that will be home to a "cutting-edge studio" for at least the next 14 years. From a previously announced $28 million CAD (about $26.2 million USD) investment in Ubisoft Quebec, $4 million CAD (about $3.75 million) will go toward the new digs. Quebec City has also announced a new program that will see it make a $500,000 CAD (about $468,000) investment to help outfit the new location.

Ubisoft Quebec is already at work on a new Assassin's Creed game, although no details on that project were forthcoming. The only upcoming game in the series currently announced is Unity, which will be available for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on October 28. A separate game allowing players to assume the role of a Templar is reportedly in the works for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. There has been no official word on that as of yet, although Ubisoft has indicated it's not ready to abandon last-gen hardware.

Do you like the direction the Assassin's Creed franchise is headed in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

86 comments
SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

Interesting. On one hand the title of the article says: "Ubisoft explains why Ubisoft Quebec is taking over for Ubisoft Montreal as the lead developer of Assassin's Creed." then the article says: "We also don't know exactly why Ubisoft is making this move, but we've contacted the company for comment and will report back with anything we learn." Hahaha.

Ok so once we remove the usual flapping-of-the-mouth of bosses, big and small, we don't have anything. AC is going to a city 160 miles north east of Montreal, so what? Splinter Cell went west to Toronto and it didn't help the franchise, why going east with AC will? Bottom line there must be something with money and the usual bribe one or the other gets from governments to get some employment move here and there.

Firzenzo
Firzenzo

If I could turn back time I would replace ACIII with this

ritamray32
ritamray32

I don't see why people have so many problem with AC being an annual franchise

They come up something new every year, the story is good

And unlike some annual franchises which basically remains the same

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Ok, now it's your guys' job to churn out the AC games.  We'll be churning out the Watch Dogs games over here.

gcodegamer
gcodegamer

So I should skip AC Unity and wait for AC divided 2016

rmartinezdl
rmartinezdl

dont care, waiting for ac4 to go down to $10.

thorn3000
thorn3000

so...I gather Quebec has become cheaper for workforce than Montreal as Montreal is quite well-known for being a game business hub? (that is how you read between the lines of this corporate bollocks)

Moegitto
Moegitto

Everyone is pulling the Activision strategy, watering down good series year after year. 

brandonmshanks
brandonmshanks

whats with comments "pending"? one of my comments has been pending for like an hour, while others post immediately. First time ive seen this pending.  

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

So many AC games, wow...my brain hurts.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Hopefully Ubi Quebec is more proficient at modeling female assets.  That's with a silent 't' by the way.

JohnTheLyrical
JohnTheLyrical

As long as it pulls off the co-op gameplay and has a relate-able storyline that connects intricately I'm cool with it. I'am a man of simple pleasures.

Slinqy
Slinqy

As an Assassin's Creed fan since AC1, the Assassin's Creed series has been pretty rough for me [and think almost all of us] as of late. AC3 and AC4 were really hard to thoroughly enjoy [especially AC3 heh]... and the series has drifted far from its golden age. After seeing AC Unity though, my hopes have been rekindled, mostly because of the setting, features, and habitat of the assassin, which is back in the sprawling city. A return to its roots - and an expansion of its roots is exactly what the Assassin's Creed series needs. It also goes without saying the final implementation of in-game co-op. Customization options are rumored to be through the roof, and we finally, finally get to carry spears, which I've been waiting for since ACII. There's also the random events feature, new stealth system, and interior exploration. The dev team really seemed to listen to the fans on this one. It has all the makings of a desired Assassin's Creed installment, especially now.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

This is an interesting move. I'm not entirely sure how, but it's interesting. I hope this isn't a result of Unity not having any competitive multi-player modes. I quite like that decision.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

After AC3 and AC4 I'm not really sure whether to hate the series or continue buying it.That being said AC4 wasn't a strong Assassin's Creed game at the core.Will wait to see how AC5 turns out to be.

cboye18
cboye18

It won't matter much to me, it's still one of the worst franchises I've ever played. 

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

I wonder if the shift of studios will be noticeable in the game

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

AC 3 and 4 were  the worst games in the series. I may be buying this one since it's coming back to Europe and from what I understand they are going back to their roots with an actual assassin story instead of a pirate simulator with a main character that wasn't even an assassin.

hastati4
hastati4

Welp, Assassin's Creed has been officially benched in favor of Watch Dogs.

unreal849
unreal849

Gotta love design by committee.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

I hope this doesn't affect the production of the game.

AzureBonds76
AzureBonds76

Many people do enjoy the Ac multiplayer (I am not one of them), however I believe that it was originally put in the game as a way to give the game more legs and to sort of try to stop people from trading it in. The multiplayer in AC Unity is drop-in-drop-out co-op that if you are playing the single player campaign you won't even see anything about it. it is seamlessly integrated in taverns in the game and are implemented as side-missions. I believe I read about 1/3 of the game is these side missions. You can't do any of the main missions in co-op. Also you can play all the side missions alone without co-op.


One on hand I don't want to take something away from people that do enjoy the multiplayer, but Ubisoft finally accepted that putting something in the game that most people don't want or play is a bad idea if it seemingly takes away from why people really purchase it in the first place.  It is good news that one of the biggest publishers is finally accepting that if people want to trade in their games, there is nothing you can do about it other than make the best game you can and let it speak for itself.

hyksiu
hyksiu

So montreal is doing the prince again? :P

brandonmshanks
brandonmshanks

Its probably in everyones best interest, but especially PC gamers, that the people who made watch dogs not touch this game. 

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

@brandonmshanks  You used a word on the naughty list.  You can't use words like tr0ll now unless you spell them wrong.

agrx
agrx

@Gamer_4_Fun Brotherhood, Revelations, and Liberation all felt like rushed cash in's, but the series seems to be picking up steam again. 

RevLux
RevLux

@Slinqy  That's strange. I loved the first two A.C. games but found it difficult to get into the games that followed. Up until A.C. IV, which I found to be a refreshing departure both in theme and game play. While it could be argued that it was more of a pirate game than a true assassin's creed I felt that it did both exceedingly well. I'm a bit worried that Unity's return to the series roots might not be a good thing. Still, I think the addition of meaningful co-op could make it a winner. Especially if they add at least some local co-op support.

Firzenzo
Firzenzo

@Slinqy  I wouldn't expect a commercialised franchise to come back after seeing so many other loved franchises turn to mud but they already show a few nods to AC I and that's hopeful. I don't really like the way they did it in AC:Revelations so this is a good chance to redeem the series. For best bet they should just return to the source material, Alamut, to remind them and us what Assassin's Creed is about.

master20234
master20234

@Slinqy This...plus I hope the present day story gets better again, AC4's wasn't terrible, but I liked Desmond and the others so I hope they bring in another good main protagonist along with the other old ones. Having "yourself" as the present day protagonist just doesn't do it for me.

RevLux
RevLux

@PlatinumPaladin  While I did find some of the A.C. competitive multiplayer enjoyable the franchise has always been about the single player story and game play for me. So I'm not at all heartbroken that they are focusing on that. Well, that and co-op -which I'm excited to experience.

opj1212
opj1212

They don't have a multiplayer. Since they have co-op, that's what they're focusing on when it comes to "multiplayer." That's what I heard, so maybe look into it for yourself.

thorn3000
thorn3000

@cboye18 obviously you have not played many games, please, do prove me wrong by saying you played over 100 franchises and not 10 like I suspect, if only what I suspect than I do believe this could be the worst you have played due to your inexperience

opj1212
opj1212

They both have their pros and cons, but Assassin's Creed has parkour, which obviously makes it better!;)

brockelley
brockelley

@hastati4 That's a good thing, seeing as it's been the same game since the first one.. besides ship battles of course...

streamline
streamline

Here? Gamespot doesn't sell games. :)

brockelley
brockelley

@brandonmshanks It's too late.. with so many good games coming out, we'll just go torrent it. screw ubisoft.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@opj1212 Co-op requires multiple players, so yeah it has multi-player. So maybe look up your own ass.

Teebown24
Teebown24

@gabyjamie @Sun-Tzu-GE as did i. it was interesting to have a character that was acting towards his own benefit, not simply to defeat the templars or help the assassins.

opj1212
opj1212

The "same" you say? Play the first one and then play Unity when it comes out and we'll see...

ritamray32
ritamray32

No that IS a good thing

Because Watch Dogs has a lot of potential

And if Ubisoft Montreal can focus on Watch Dogs, you can expect to see something great

gabyjamie
gabyjamie

@Sun-Tzu-GE @brockelley @hastati4 Watch_Dogs was okay for a new IP. The first Assassin's Creed was somewhat bland also. I have no doubt they'll massively improve on it with the sequel.

brandonmshanks
brandonmshanks

@john_matrix_007 @brockelley @brandonmshanks I dont pirate games, but games like watch dogs helps me understand those that do. I mean seriously, the game was delayed so they could polish it and it releases to the PC as an unfinished stuttering console port that doesnt know how to handle memory properly. Then almost a month goes by before they patch it, and the patch fixed NOTHING. I pre-ordered and paid 60 for this broken game, and i cant get my money back, so I understand people that pirate in response to crap like this.   

gamertaboo
gamertaboo

@john_matrix_007 @brockelley @brandonmshanks Umm, excuse me, we do NOT pirate everything. All platforms have their bad apples. Plus, you usually see console rips before PC ones fyi. Either way, those of us who do NOT pirate, show our disgust by buying the game when it hits like 5 bucks on steam. :)

RevLux
RevLux

@brandonmshanks @john_matrix_007 @brockelley  Actually, they very clearly said they did not delay Watchdogs so that they could polish it. It was delayed to get the hacking just right. They wanted to make sure every time you pressed a button to hack a light or pipes, etc. that it would do what it was supposed to. I believe they succeeded in that. Although It would have been nice if they had thrown in a little optimization for the p.c. version while they were at it.