Every now and again in this job, I get asked by someone - usually someone with little knowledge about gaming or the industry itself - about how big video games are. So to those people, here's a nice analogy.
Ubisoft Montreal, the studio responsible for taking the lead on Assassin's Creed's Viking turn, announced early Thursday morning that an astonishing 15 studios had worked on the first next-gen Assassin's Creed title. The Canadian-based studio didn't confirm which studios precisely worked on the project - we'll find out more about that soon - but for reference, 15 studios is about a third of all the studios sitting under Ubisoft's umbrella.
Exciting! An immense congratulations to our studio warriors for all the good work and passion building to that reveal. We’d also like to thank the 14 co-dev studios all around the world. You know who you are, and we’re thankful for your dedication! Skàl! pic.twitter.com/hBPpFZKkrP
— Ubisoft Montréal (@UbisoftMTL) April 29, 2020
7 studios worked on Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, an Assassin's Creed large enough that most of us were still working through the content a year later. In terms of raw numbers, Ubisoft revealed that just under 1,000 staff were working on Assassin's Creed: Origins, with around 200 to 300 working on the art alone. Red Dead Redemption 2, for another comparison, was co-developed by all of Rockstar's 9 studios.
Just thinking about the organisation required to keep all those studios on track is mind-boggling. As for the actual game, we won't see more gameplay or footage until tomorrow. You can re-watch the 8 hours of Aussie artist Kode "BossLogic" Abdo putting together a poster teaser on YouTube until then, although there's some interesting tidbits if you look closely. At around 11 minutes, BossLogic opens up File Explorer to grab a whole series of reference images, including some from a folder called "Cambodia", potentially indicating one of the inspirations for the game. There's also a folder of reference images for castles, which includes a shot of the Notre Dame, Harry Potter's Hogwarts, an abandoned fort in New York City, and Kwidzyn Castle in Poland:
The whole video is also just cool to watch if you want to see how that poster art incorporates so many different elements seamlessly.
The official Valhalla reveal will be livestreamed at 1:00 AM AEST tomorrow, if you want to stay awake for it. The official premiere can be found below.