There Won't Be a Big New Assassin's Creed Game This Year - Report

The next Assassin's Creed is reportedly set in Egypt.

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Since the release of Assassin's Creed II in 2009, we've gotten a new entry in the core franchise every year (alongside spinoffs, in the case of most recent years). That won't be the case again this year, as a new report suggests that Ubisoft will skip 2016 in favor of a 2017 release for a new game set in Egypt.

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News of this first cropped up on 4chan (via NeoGAF), where an alleged developer claimed the new game would be "a complete revamp of the series" featuring "a Witcher feel, with player progression" and a "freeform combat system." Kotaku has since corroborated some of these details, saying the game is currently called Assassin's Creed Empire and could signal a bi-annual release schedule for the series going forward. It also says the hole in Ubisoft's fall schedule could be filled by Watch Dogs 2, which is reportedly set in San Francisco.

According to the 4chan poster, the new Assassin's Creed protagonist is either a "slave or ex-slave" with a pet eagle that players are able to control. (Ubisoft recently announced a VR game where you fly over Paris as an eagle, for what it's worth.) It's also said to contain "a lot more story" than the other games and is much more colorful.

When reached for comment, Ubisoft declined to offer any clarification. "We can't comment on rumor or speculation," a spokesperson told GameSpot. "We're always happy when players are excited about our games, past, present, and future. In the meantime, we hope that the latest images from the Assassin's Creed movie set will keep fans of the franchise happy and eager to find out more!"

Should the next big Assassin's Creed indeed skip 2016, it won't mean it's punting on this year entirely. The next entry in the side-scrolling Assassin's Creed Chronicles series, India, is due out next week, and will be followed by Russia next month. The upcoming film, meanwhile, will be out in December.

That Ubisoft should move away from its annual release cycle wouldn't be hugely surprising after, by the publisher's own admission, Unity's messy release in 2014 impacted sales of 2015's Syndicate.

We may have a better idea of the publisher's plans for the series when it shares its earnings report for the third quarter on Thursday, February 12. Stay tuned.

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