For what it's worth, Assassin's Creed 3 is practically a new IP. With a new character in Connor, a new story, time period, setting, and game mechanics, creative lead Alex Hutchinson described Assassin's Creed 3 as "90% a new game".
What's the other 10%? Series protagonist Desmond Miles, which Hutchinson said, during a Ubisoft press conference, could be coming to an end.
Desmond Miles is really the only factor linking Assassin's Creed 3 to the other games in the popular franchise which dates back to 2007. According to Hutchinson, it's beginning to ask a little too much of people to remember "years worth of story" surrounding Miles.
“It’s more like the Twilight Zone. There’s always a guy introducing it and he’s there every episode, but each game completes its own story, ” he said via Polygon. “Assassin’s Creed 1 was Altair’s story. Ezio has been and gone. You can engage with these historical stories individually without having to necessarily understand Desmond’s story. But yes, we eventually do have to wrap it up."
“I think what you do is you finish it. I always pitched it to the guys on this game to think of it almost like Star Trek. Each game is a season… each big number is a sub-title," he explained. "We’re not changing the universe, but we’re being given the reigns to the equivalent of The Next Generation. Yes, it’s the Star Trek universe, and that has certain immutable laws and there’s a base kind of tone to it, but within that you can do whatever you want."
He added: “I think Desmond needs to end, at some point. You know what I mean? Things that go on too long lack resonance. We’re asking people to remember seven years worth of story. Which is like saying you were in junior high and now you’re finishing college. And you need to remember what you were doing in junior high.”
To be honest, I think Assassin's Creed 3 could be just as successful even without Desmond. A lot of the hype leading up to its release has been around the change of environment and new character. It's like a breath of fresh air and, to a certain extent, almost like a new IP.
“Without Desmond, we could have called it anything else, and people would have said okay,” said Hutchinson. “It’s just we like the wrapper of being an assassin and being in this continuing war against Templars. There’s huge value in that. But [AC3] is 90% a new game.”
It's not hard to imagine Assassin's Creed 3 without Desmond. In fact, it looks like Ubisoft is slowly trying to move away from him. Aside from Assassin's Creed 3, Ubisoft has plans to release Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation, which introduces yet another new hero – Aveline, the first female protagonist – and further expands on the 18th century Colonial America environment.
Over the weekend, a leaked GameStop document allegedly from Ubisoft seemed to indicate plans for future Assassin's Creed 3 DLC.