A Ubisoft acquisition could be a double-edged sword for the Assassin’s Creed franchise
Following several acquisitions in 2022, theories are circulating about potential buyers for a number of different studios. What appears to be a heated war between Sony and Microsoft has been averted by Nintendo, but with Bungie, Activision Blizzard, Housemarque and a handful of Square Enix developers finding a new owner, it’s only fitting that more will come along. Assassin’s Creed could be next.
One of the few major third-party companies to be acquired is Ubisoft, a publisher responsible for Burst cell, just dance, Watch dogs, Far cry, and more. Its lineup of games is massive, with several AAA projects released every year. The jewel atop Ubisoft’s crown is undoubtedly Assassin’s Creed, as its humble beginnings in 2007 have evolved into one of the most anticipated regular releases of any given calendar year. If the Paris-based developer were acquired by another entity, it could be a blessing or a curse for the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
Aid the cause of the assassins
Assassin’s Creed is constantly evolving. From locations and time periods to protagonists, the series rarely continues on the same path in new entries. While many of these changes are welcome, an acquisition from a larger company could stabilize the ship and ensure consistency in storytelling, presentation, and hopefully sales. Existing characters in the Assassin’s Creed mythos are often overlooked after a match is over, with many like Bayek, Connor, and Arno not having much closure.
With a Prince of Persia redo on the horizon and Assassin’s Creed being much more prominent over the past decade, there’s every chance the series will take a back seat to new Ubisoft projects. Sales are stronger than ever, but with the volume of games that have come from Ubisoft in recent years, Assassin’s Creed never feels particularly fresh and exciting. A new owner could revitalize the franchise and show that it has even more to give in an ever-changing industry. IP has untapped potential, and unlocking it could be the source of Ubisoft’s future success. A bigger company acquiring the studio could bring about this significant and positive change.
Acquisition could be a problem for Assassin’s Creed
While one of the show’s biggest complaints is that it lacks consistency, that can be a strength. Each Assassin’s Creed has familiar features like a historical setting and a huge emphasis on stealth gameplay, but one of the best things about waiting is to theorize how Ubisoft will refine the formula. The company obviously cares about critical and commercial success, but Ubisoft also holds innovation in high regard with Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft can do whatever it wants with the franchise, and while that might be a downside, it allows for more creativity and freedom.
Ubisoft is a favorite to buy in the near future, but it’s unclear where it might end up. If it finds a new home with Sony or Xbox, it could lead to some kind of exclusivity. Assassin’s Creed has a large following on a number of platforms, and while this purchase could bring stability, it would also likely see a hit in sales. Assassin’s Creed is popular due to its quality and availability, so isolating it in a single system would undermine a key pillar of its success.
As more and more AAA franchises are bought out, Assassin’s Creed remained unchanged. It’s one of the biggest properties still owned by its developer, and while it’s only a matter of time before it falls under the Sony or Microsoft banner, the freedom that individuality brings can have mixed results. No one knows what’s next Assassin’s Creedbut it’s definitely too big a series to fail.
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