The long-awaited next installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise has been revealed. After sticking to an annual release strategy for the Assassin's Creed series for seven years, Ubisoft decided it was best to take a breather before pushing forward with another release, a decision potentially brought on by declining franchise sales and critical reception. While the studio has avoided discussing their plans for the next iteration in the franchise, that hasn't stopped rumors from spreading.
So far, every major installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise has been moving forward in time, with the latest release, Syndicate, taking place in Victorian-era London. Previous reports have suggested that the next installment will be more of a prequel set in Egypt, Greece, and other ancient regions, and will act as somewhat of a franchise reset. While all of that has yet to be confirmed by Ubisoft, it appears that the reports just might be true.
An off-screen image of the new game, reportedly titled Assassin's Creed: Origins, found its way onto Reddit this morning. The image has since been confirmed by Eurogamer, who cites three separate sources having verified the image's authenticity.
The image in question itself appears to confirm multiple rumors. For instance, the existence of boats (or, at least, a schooner) confirms previously reports that indicated the new installment will evoke themes from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, arguably the most successful installment to release thus far on the new generation of consoles. Furthermore, at the top-left corner, we see a mission titled, "Follow Shadya to Khenut’s Villa." Khenut was the Queen of Egypt during her husband's (King Unas) reign from 2375 – 2345 BC.
Taking the franchise back to Ancient Egypt certainly coincides with Ubiosft CEO Yves Guillemot's plans to reset the franchise, as well as reports that indicate the new game will be a prequel. Taking place over 3,000 years prior to the first Assassin's Creed game definitely counts as a prequel. And adding more fuel to the fire, the Reddit user who first posted the image was named "shoutouttoashraf," which seems to indicate that Ashraf Ismail (Black Flag's game director) is working on Origins. Of course, this is only speculation, but it does correspond with rumors intimating that the new installment will be similar to Black Flag (which we see in the leaked image).
Last year marked the first time since 2008 that an Assassin's Creed game didn't hit shelves; however, that void was filled with the release of Justin Kurzel's Assassin's Creed film. Still, fans want a new video game -- and it looks like Ubisoft is gearing up to give fans just that. While official details are scarce at this time, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is just a few weeks away; if Ubisoft has anything to share, they'll do it then.