The co-creator of Assassin's Creed admits that game series was originally just supposed to be a trilogy. Over a decade on, and having covered so many different eras of history, it is astonishing to think how far the series has come since those early days of the Third Crusade.
Moving beyond the Holy Land to tackle the likes of the Italian Renaissance, Colonial era, the French Revolution, and even the Victorian period, Ubisoft has shown time and time again that Assassin's Creed has legs. Living beyond its PC and console form in comics, books, and a big screen outing, Assassin's Creed is one of the most versatile gaming franchises out there.
For anyone asking what the secret to Assassin's Creed's longevity is, the title's co-creator can offer some insight. Speaking at Develop: Brighton (via GamesRadar), former Assassin's Creed producer Jade Raymond reveals how Ubisoft had always envisioned three games but hoped that the series could continue beyond that in other forms:
"I've gotta be honest, I'm still surprised about how successful Assassin's Creed is and how it took on a life of its own. When we started working on it, we did have a plan to make three games. We wanted to, we were super excited. And we also felt like since we were getting this great opportunity to create a new franchise from scratch, and a brand from scratch, we really wanted to create a sort of franchise meta-infrastructure or story engine if you will, so that the franchise could live on."
She went on to explain what she thinks has given Assassin's Creed its fan-favorite status:
"We designed the franchise as a kind of sandbox for creatives, where I was hoping that we could hand off the keys to other professionals and they could create their own thing within it. So as long as you pick a pivotal moment in history, and you explain what was happening historically through the assassins, then it's an Assassin's Creed game. Then within that people can basically play with any historical period they want as long as its revisionist history telling you about this period of time and explaining that the assassins were behind it."
Raymond is now general manager of EA Motive Studios - a studio she co-created to specialize in action-adventure titles - and is set to work on several of the studio's Star Wars titles. Despite this, it's clear that Assassin's Creed still holds a special place in her heart. Importantly, there is still no shortage of ideas for an ongoing legacy. With this year's Assassin's Creed Odyssey heading to Ancient Greece, that is yet another era of time that will be explored by the long-running adventure series. Although predating even Assassin's Creed Origins by over 400 years, Odyssey hopes to feel familiar to long-term players while also adding something new to the mix.
The history-hopping, gaming franchise is set to branch out even further with future Assassin's Creed installments potentially exploring multiple timelines in each game. Although the 2016 movie, which was based on Ubisoft's world, didn't fare particularly well at the box office, the games have largely stood the test of time. Who knows, maybe another trip to the theater can reinvent the Assassin's Creed name like the games continue to do? With Ubisoft aiming to reach 5 billion gamers within the next decade, Assassin's Creed could certainly help them get there.