For the first time since 2009, Ubisoft will not release a big Assassin's Creed game this spring, the publisher said today. It's a huge shift for their tentpole series. Kotaku first broke news of this change last month, when we reported that the next big Assassin's Creed game, which is code-named Empire and set in ancient Egypt, won't be released until 2017.
"This year, we also are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin's Creed franchise," Ubisoft wrote on their blog today. "As a result, we've decided that there will not be a new Assassin's Creed game in 2016."
Ubisoft's spokespeople pointed toward 2014's Assassin's Creed Unity, which was panned for bugs and poor design choices, as one of the catalysts for this decision. Last year's Assassin's Creed Syndicate was significantly better, but sales suffered; Unity had clearly left a bad taste in many fans' mouths.
"Since the release of Assassin's Creed Unity, we've learned a lot based on your feedback," Ubisoft's reps said on the blog. "We've also updated our development processes and recommitted to making Assassin's Creed a premier open-world franchise. We're taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we're delivering on the promise of Assassin's Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone's playground."