Ubisoft could possibly be perceived by gamers as crossing the proverbial line into “milking” territory with their yearly Assassin’s Creed releases. Four Assassin’s Creed games will have been released over the past five years, with Revelations shipping next month. However, according to Falco Poiker, mission design director for Revelations, a shorter development cycle can be very beneficial, because the impending deadline makes his team more focused and efficient.
Speaking in regards to Assassin’s Creed development Poiker told Edge:
Yeah, these games, the production cycle is less than a year, which actually for me is about ideal. Most productions – real production is about that length, but because you have the previous game that’s just finishing on production and you start the next game’s production, there’s this very quick ramp-up time where you’re just swallowing resources saying, “OK, let’s make this team.” And from a 20-person team to a 180-people team within a few months, even that is a bit of a nightmare.
Poiker also admits that the shorter development cycle isn’t very popular around crunch time:
A lot of people complain about that, I mean I’m talking internally – people say there’s not enough time. But it gives an impetus to the team and we find a direction that we say we’re going to run in, and there’s very little of the indecision that comes with teams that spend two, three, four years developing games. Frequently those games will restart completely from the ground-up because they’re like, “We’re not satisfied where we are.” We don’t have that luxury so the time actually kind of works in our favour. We go one direction and we go with it. If there’s problems, oh well, we’ll fix it along the way.
Ubisoft has recently gone on the record stating that they are going to refrain from releasing a new Assassin’s Creed game every year, to give the franchise a little breathing room. As long as the quality is there, franchise fans will more than likely return to the series for each iteration. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is set to launch on November 15th, read our preview here.