Wild rumor: Assassin's Creed 'Empire' allegedly set in Egypt, launching in 2017
"The price of games journalism"
Well, we've got our first rumor of 2016, folks. Coming from the extremely trustworthy 4Chan is a new rumor alledging Ubisoft's next Assassin's Creed game -- supposedly codenamed "Empire" -- won't be releasing until 2017.
Though the rumor popped up on 4Chan, details were rounded together on NeoGAF. Among the details noted is that the next Assassin's Creed game will be set in Egypt (something director Ashraf Ismail suggested years ago) and that Ubisoft will forgo a new Assassin's Creed game in 2016, opting instead for a "complete revamp of the series" in 2017.
According to the leaker, "The game is going for a Witcher feel, with player progression, freeform combat system." It's supposedly being developed by the same team that made Black Flag. There are all sorts of other rumored details in the post, including supposed information about the protagonist who is said to be a "slave or ex-slave."
Ubisoft's decision to postpone the release of a new Assassin's Creed allegedly stems from the disappointing launch of Assassin's Creed Unity in 2014; the game was a buggy mess and even Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallet acknowledged the poor overall quality of it.
Assuming these wild rumors are legit -- I suggest taking them with a heavy grain of salt -- then I'd say now is a good time for a complete series revamp. Although Syndicate has been well-received, Ubisoft executives have speculated its sales may have been negatively impacted by the disappointment of Unity. Of course, when it comes to annual releases, one also has to worry about franchise fatigue, which even the most hardcore Assassin's Creed fans have likely felt lately.
Even without a new installment in the core Assassin's Creed saga this year, there's still plenty for fans of the franchise to feast on this year. Coming this year are the next two chapters of Assassin's Creed Chronicles as well as the Assassin's Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender.
Some speculate we could get a Watch Dogs sequel to fill Ubisoft's holiday void.