Why is there no Assassin's Creed on Vita this year?
You'd think the decent sales and fairly positive reception to Assassin's Creed: Liberation on PlayStation Vita would warrant some sort of follow-up on Sony's handheld. Instead, Ubisoft is putting Ubisoft Sofia, the team that created Liberation, to work on Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, which will make its console debut in October. This means no Assassin's Creed for the Vita this year, but why not?
"Liberation actually did very well - we're very proud of it," game director Ashraf Ismail told Eurogamer. "Sales were fairly decent. But the focus for us was Assassin's Creed 4, for current-gen consoles and next-gen consoles.
"From a resource standpoint, the team that worked on Liberation is actually working with us on AC4. They're developing a specific part of the game for us."
Ismail didn't say what that was specifically, but explained, "The amount of people working on AC4, Watch Dogs - that's a massive game - the focus within Ubisoft right now is on these two games, and then you have The Crew and The Division as well."
No Vita title doesn't mean the end of Aveline's adventure though. Ubisoft will continue the story of Aveline, the female protagonist from Liberation, through special Assassin's Creed 4 bonus content exclusive to the PlayStation versions of the game. The PS3 and PS4 will get an additional one hour of gameplay that consists of three missions that "pick up in ways after [Aveline's] story in Liberation ends."
Interestingly, though it appears Ubisoft is committed solely to blockbuster console titles,each of their upcoming games contains some sort of mobile element. In The Crew you can use your mobile device to create your car and them import it into the game; The Division has a standalone app that will allow players to control a drove from their tablet and play alongside console players. Surely, if Ubisoft had really wanted a new Assassin's Creed title for PS Vita they could have found the manpower to do so. Perhaps the Vita doesn't offer enough of an incentive in the mobile space as tablets and cell phones.