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Ubisoft Confident That Assassin's Creed Won't Suffer "Burnout"

Nobody likes the term "annualization." Gamers just find far too many negative associations connected with it.

And even the most popular franchises have burned out in the past ('cough' Guitar Hero 'cough') so it should always be a concern for game producers.

But Ubisoft just unveiled Assassin's Creed III, which will launch later this year and mark the fourth straight year that an AC entry has hit store shelves for the holiday season...and they're not worried at all.

That could be due to the fact that the publisher claims it's their "largest project ever" and it's hardly rushed; in fact, it has been in development for over three years (pretty much since ACII went out the door). So when GI International spoke to Ubisoft senior vice president of sales and marketing Tom Key, he wanted to focus on the sheer size of the project. Said Key:

"It's definitely, hands-down going to be the biggest launch we've ever had. We've known that for a while - it's a massive product for us that's been in development for three years. We've been waiting for it and we're really excited finally to see the thing coming to life today and the people's reaction."

Key added that having the game take place on American soil would "hit home for a lot of people," which we would hope is true. But moving on to addressing the possible "burnout" of Assassin's Creed, Key had this to say:

"We assess the potential and the quality of a product long before we're announcing the thing. We understand what we have, and while we're not flawless in our projections - we've had plenty of games that didn't meet our expectations - we firmly believe that this is a really good bet. And our goal is to grow the brand. We are one of the elite brands in the industry, but we're not the biggest - there are a few brands that sell more than Assassin's Creed so we know that there's room for this to grow. So we're getting behind it with bigger development resources and bigger marketing and our goal is to significantly grow it from where it is right now - so not just a little, a lot."

And remember, ACIII has a new setting, a new hero, new technology, etc. And the timing couldn't be better after three straight titles with former protagonist Ezio (yes, we know the actual protagonist is Desmond but as fans of the series know, the focus is almost always on Ezio or in this case, Connor). Still, Ubisoft does remain realistic. Finished Key:

"Any publisher who says that they don't worry about burnout is probably not being honest. There's always the worry about burnout because consumer tastes change, trends come along that cause you to evolve things in certain ways, so you always have to be forward thinking about your brand and where you're going next with it.

"You certainly have to strive not to do the same thing every year. You don't have to completely reinvent the brand every year to be successful on annualizing, but you do need to bring something new. And so, with Assassin's 3 that's not an issue at all - the thing is completely new."

This guy talks sense, doesn't he?

Tags: assassins creed 3, assassins creed iii, ubisoft, assassins creed series

3/7/2012 8:23:43 PM Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (19 posts)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012 @ 9:37:23 PM

Not worried about burn out.... Yet

The story of this game keeps me going and until that is finished I don't know that I would get burned out of it. So looking forward to this new one. The setting is going to be amazing

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012 @ 9:41:45 PM

I think it will suffer from burnout. People say Assassin's Creed 3 is a true sequel, but you need the other "spinoffs" to know what happens. Brotherhood and Revelation are not just spinoffs of Ezio. The story continues for Desmond as well. So the problem is when we play Assassin's Creed 3, you will miss out on Desmond's plot.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012 @ 9:58:10 PM

That's definitely true. The only way not to have burnout is if you didn't play the previous 2, but then you have a huge plot gap.

I'm not going to lie, I'm tired of this series and I wish they would hold off on the sequel and make something new instead. When they pop them out so quickly it's tough to get excited for new ones.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012 @ 9:50:23 PM

On the side, Guitar Hero never died from burnout by itself. It was a combination of both Rockband and Guitar Hero's annual releases. On top of that they release all these DLC that pretty much elongates the gameplay but are identical to the game disc. So it gives little reasoning to continue purchasing the disc.

Assassin's Creed franchise has so much more gameplay explorations.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012 @ 10:12:26 PM

I think that II, Brotherhood, and Revelations have all been a bit too similar in the graphical/gameplay dept. Don't get me wrong, there were some awesome additions along the way. I just felt that the core gameplay remained a little too familiar. When I got Revelations, I had just beaten Brotherhood. I stuck the disc in expecting to be wowed by this amazing new game. Eh, added a lot more meaningless tasks and bomb making. I will not complain about the overall story as well as the voice acting and cinematics which have remained fresh throughout the series, but I do believe that adding all of these things to the game instead of simply improving the heart of it has just made it a bit stale for it's time. I literally played for about 3 hrs and didn't touch it for 3 weeks afterward. I love AC, but as far as burning out goes, it's a tad too late for that. Just means I gan get III when it drops to 30 bucks. Steel case does look enticing though.

Last edited by fatelementality on 3/7/2012 10:13:10 PM

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 5:52:23 PM

I'm in the same boat as you.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012 @ 10:47:57 PM

So they will give you a new one every 3 years or so, but in the intervening years they will toss you a yearly slapped together game that will decrease in quality as time passes.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 3:10:18 AM

As much as I love the series, I think it's too much and too soon. On the plus side, by the time I finish Revelations, AC III will probably hit platinum so I could get it for cheap ;)

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 3:55:14 AM

i was getting a little worried it would with 3, but they have added so many changes to it its refreshed the series for years to come!
not too happy about the american revolution timeline, it was suppose to be set in current time!
but besides that, well, it looks f*cking awesome!
finally a worthy successor to AC2!

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 5:36:22 AM

Quoting, "there are a few brands that sell more than Assassin's Creed so we know that there's room for this to grow" - a more poisonous tongue than mine would point at that sentence as to why games in general should not be classified as art - if the measurement of success is only to sell the most copies.

I'll say this though: Had musicians followed that same principle none of the music I listen to today would even have existed. And two of my favourite movies of all time would never have been made.

... But as a *gamer* I look forward to this title. ;)

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/8/2012 5:58:53 AM

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Saturday, March 10, 2012 @ 8:43:34 PM


It's the VP of sales and marketing speaking. I'm sure you'd hear the same sort of BS coming from any record company or movie studio exec from the last 50+ years. It has very little to do with the perspectives held by the artists who actually make the games (or even most of the people who run the companies).

Last edited by Fane1024 on 3/10/2012 8:45:54 PM

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 8:04:14 AM

I dunno, I was kind of burnt out with Brotherhood. Never completed it or Revelations for that matter. It's a good thing I'm gonna catch up on those stories with the novels instead.

Assassin's Creed III on the other hand will be fresh and innovative. A new engine, new scenario, tons of preperation. It's like the team I entrusted all along secretly building the climax to the series (I hope it's the climax). I have a feeling it may be the best Assassin's Creed yet.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 9:56:33 AM

I'm a little burnt out since I didn't really play Brotherhood until Revelations came out and I still have not even opened up my copy of Revelations.

3 does look interesting with the new scenery but I'm just not really excited.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 11:29:46 AM

Start buying used man, start buying used.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 11:27:56 AM

No burnout for me as I have every AC, including PSP Bloodlines & the AC movie on DVD(no Revelations, but getting it) and all are still sitting in my several hundred games backlog.

Anyway, even if I had finished them all, I'd still be stoked for AC3 because nobody has done the American revolution yet.
And if I remember right, the closest anyone's gotten was the History Channel's 2 Civil War video games.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 11:38:45 AM

I shouldn't be so critical. It's my favorite franchise this gen... Why stop now?

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Thursday, March 08, 2012 @ 6:36:34 PM

So with the American Flag and all, I guess it's the American Revolution era...they sure skipped a ton of really cool eras for that, boo.

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Friday, March 09, 2012 @ 1:25:42 PM

first things first,
i agree with pretty much all of you. AC:B and AC:R are cool, but very much so adding to the burnout. And yes, it's too late not to be burned out for AC3. still interested, but not drooling as i was before.
Regarding American revolution, yes, it looks cool, but you know, i would've preferred japan, or maybe even going back in time. perhaps another ancient ancestor, even if only for a chapter or sequence...

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Friday, March 09, 2012 @ 10:57:36 PM

I guess I'm lucky that I haven't suffered the burnout for AC series yet. Most likely since I treated AC:Brotherhood and AC:Revelations as what they are, expansion packs to the story and content including multiplayer of AC:2 and therefore not making me expect much out of just that alone.

However, I was getting tired of Ezio though, since he was starting to poke outside the series and had more glamor time than Altair. :P But at least they wrapped up the story with Altair in Revelations and Ezio in Embers.

Last edited by VampDeLeon on 3/9/2012 10:58:28 PM

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