During E3, Ubisoft showed off Assassin’s Creed Unity, the next installment in their critically acclaimed franchise, which featured a fantastic looking four-player cooperative mode as the focus of the game. While it blew many fans away, there was a lingering question in the back of everyone’s mind: What took so long?
Ubisoft detailed many of the game’s features in an interview with CVG, among them why such a popular fan request wasn’t possible previously in the series. “Because it’s very complicated to do.” said senior producer Vincent Pontbriand. “Assassin’s Creed was always a single-player game to begin with. It took us three games to introduce PvP [player versus player]. It was in the same universe but you were playing as a Templar avatar in a very separate game mode.
“In Unity, we set out to unify all these game modes into a single experience. That’s when we decided that co-op should be the next main focus but in order to do that we had to rebuild all of our systems to allow them to be replicated over a network and working online. So it took years of development to reproduce and redraft all of our sandbox features for a shared online experience.”
Pontbriand also notes in the interview that Ubisoft takes fan requests very seriously, so seriously in fact, that they essentially build entire games around what the fans like: “When we released Assassin’s Creed 3, which featured naval battles on a small scale, this definitely influenced us in building Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, because when we saw people’s reaction to that additional feature that was in AC3, we said, ‘okay, we need to try to build something that fully supports this, and push it to the next level’. So this is one big example of where were clearly influenced by consumer feedback. But then it’s all over the place – all the little things that people wish to see. For example, we know that two of the most requested features for a ‘next’ Assassin’s Creed were the ability to play with friends on co-op missions, and to have the ability to customize the main character. So we’re featuring both of these things in AC Unity.”
Assassin’s Creed Unity looks amazing, and Ubisoft is clearly taking our feedback seriously. With the power that next gen consoles give them, they can finally bring fans the game they have been asking for.