Senior Ubisoft Monteal team members have called the exit of creative director, Patrice Désilets - who's just announced a deal to join rival publisher THQ - "a shocker".
Reflecting on Désilets' departure this month, various Montreal heads, including Assassin's Creed producer Vincent Pontbriand and senior international brand manager Eric Gallant, stressed the studio will be "fine" without him.
Pontbriand said of the exit: "What I can say is that we were sad to see him leave. He is a personal friend so it was a shocker for us. If you look at it... I might have done the same thing. He was at Ubisoft for a long time and hadn't explored anything else so he felt the moment was right to do that.
"For us, Assassin's Creed is a team effort on the creative side. He was the creative director but was working as part of a team. He didn't come up with all the ideas himself, there is a fifteen person core team. We're fine."
Brand boss Gallant called Désilets' decision to leave "unfortunate":
"Patrice was a key member of a team and a good friend and his decision to leave is unfortunate for us but we're happy for him.
"For Brotherhood it doesn't really have a big impact since the creative decisions were made way before this, these decisions are always coming out from different conversations with different people...
"It's not only one person that drives the entire ship, it's a team - and the core team remains the same on Brotherhood. Some core members will always stay on Assassin's Creed and we're adding new people as we get bigger.
"We have a strong vision for the future of the brand and are confident," he said.
Désilets - who's been the creative force behind both Assassin's Creed games and the excellent Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - left Ubisoft earlier this year to take a "creative break from the industry".