Major video game publisher Ubisoft has announced the decision to transfer the development of the next title in the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise from their Montreal office to their relatively new studio in Quebec City. The move comes as part of a larger effort by the French publisher to expand the size and scope of development at Ubisoft Quebec, a project into which the company has already invested more than $26 million and which includes, among other things, a completely redesigned office building and provisions to hire an additional one hundred employees over the next three years.
The Assassin’s Creed franchise launched in 2007 and has quickly become one of the most popular game series in recent memory. The next entry in the series and final to be developed by Ubisoft Montreal, currently known by the working title Assassin’s Creed Unity. Unity is set in French Revolution era Paris, a first for the series whose previous titles have utilized the Crusades, Renaissance Italy, and the American Revolution as backdrops. The Montreal team also plans to bring a number of new features to the franchise with Unity, including cooperative multiplayer for up to four players and dynamically generated NPC crowds with unique personality traits and appearances. Unity is currently set to release on October 28, 2014, after which primary development work for the franchise will be transferred to Ubisoft Quebec.
In a blog post on Ubisoft’s official website, Nicolas Rioux, Managing Director of Ubisoft Quebec commented that he feels taking on a leadership role in the development of the franchise will be a “good pressure” on the studio and hopes to use their work on Assassin’s Creed to prove their readiness to take on “bigger and bigger projects” in the future.
While the Quebec team’s credentials don’t include the same number of top sellers as their counterparts in Montreal, the developers now responsible for the direction of Assassin’s Creed are no strangers to the franchise. The Quebec City based team has worked in a supporting role on a number of the series’ most popular titles, including Brotherhood and Revelations as well as the upcoming Unity. However, it isn’t yet known what direction Ubisoft Quebec will take the Assassin’s Creed franchise now that they’ve been afforded creative control over the next entry in the series to follow Unity. Fans of the franchise will have a long wait before they’re able to find out, however, as details on the next entry in the series likely won’t begin to emerge until well after Unity’s release.