Multiplayer servers for multiple Assassin’s Creed games are shutting down, and it may be best for the series to avoid live service multiplayer games in the future. There is already a possibility that such an idea could start up, but that would not be the best move for the series. The demands of a live service game would not mesh well with the themes and gameplay style of Assassin’s Creed.
The Assassin’s Creed games have been slowly adding more online content as time goes on. The series started as a purely single-player, story based affair, but that has changed as the series moved on, although Assassin’s Creed still balances several storylines. Of particular interest is one aspect of Ubisoft’s project in progress for the series, Assassin’s Creed Infinity. Although details are still fairly sparse, it is known that a multiplayer game is planned as a part of the new program, currently known as Invictus. Although not confirmed, it’s likely that such a title would feed into common live service multiplayer tropes.
There are a few issues with such a plan that Ubisoft may want to take into account before diving back into the idea of multiplayer Assassin’s Creed. To be fair, the gameplay of Assassin‘s Creed itself would not be the issue. The series has experimented with multiplayer modes before, so one can assume that they would have some ideas. After all, Assassin’s Creed Mirage‘s perfect setting shows how the series can benefit from new ideas. Players could compete to assassinate specific characters, or even be challenged to assassinate each other in a sort of small-scale battle royale. To its credit, a multiplayer mode itself is not an inherently flawed idea.
The issues come into focus when it comes to what one would expect from a purely multiplayer game. Live service games need to keep a steady flow of content in order to keep players interested and continuing to play. Assassin’s Creed is an intricately designed game, and tampering with the formula too much could lead to the game losing its spirit. In addition, the prominence of things such as battle passes and paid cosmetics could end up bogging down the game and turning it into more of a cash grab than a genuine experience. Assassin’s Creed Mirage‘s new story and narrative angle is a risk, but it’s more likely to be accepted than introducing a system of microtransactions.
Customization and monetization could lead to a second issue. Of course, in a multiplayer game people will want to customize their assassins to give them a distinctive look. Players have been able to unlock new outfits before, but a live service game could push that too far. Players could end up with new outfits that are unfitting or too goofy for the series Assassin’s Creed is a fairly straight-laced, serious series, and adding in wacky skins and emotes for the sake of customization would destroy its mood. Live service games can get silly, but Assassin’s Creed is decidedly not. Going in too silly a direction could potentially lead their new product to usurp Unity‘s title as the worst Assassin’s Creed.
For these reasons, it may be best if multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed games remains a novelty rather than a dedicated idea. A fully multiplayer Assassin’s Creed sounds like an interesting idea, but it could easily go wrong and become an embarrassing point for the franchise. Although Ubisoft has future plans for Assassin’s Creed, it should consider de-emphasizing multiplayer in its blueprint.
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