We've already touched on the gigantic sales of previous Assassin's games - can the series possibly grow any bigger?
We always think that it can, we think a lot of people still don't know about Assassin's Creed and we try to make the franchise bigger. Multiplayer is one of those ways but we also try to keep having a very good story and innovative gameplay. I think that's what will make the franchise grow more.
Was multiplayer always on your mind? Why have you chosen now to introduce it?
It has been in development for almost three years now - we always had it in mind and thought about it but we didn't want to rush it out if it wasn't fitting properly. We wanted to do it right and as part of the development cycle and the time it took we felt that this was the right time.
We feel that we have something strong now that fits with what Assassin's Creed is, we spent a lot of time to make sure the core values of the game are reflected in the multiplayer experience. We didn't want to do it just for the sake of doing multiplayer, we wanted to give the consumer a different experience that fits with the AC philosophy.
Was it hard to nail down the concept for multiplayer?
Yes, like everything there is a lot of trial and error, we do a lot of tests with consumers too.
There's been a lot of talk about axed Assassin's concepts - an Aztec setting in particular...
Yes. There are always people working on new concepts, technology and ideas. They work on it and present it to core people and get a no or no go. There's always internal development and test with consumers. Multiplayer for example has been tested every day.
Is Ubisoft giving you free reign in terms of man hours and budget?
It is our biggest franchise so we're taking it seriously. There are people working and thinking about the future vision of the franchise, which I can't talk about but it is something that we are willing to keep pushing. Like with any big franchise you want to make sure you're doing what is right with the franchise and you have people that are thinking about the future.
It's been said by another Ubisoft Monteal staffer that we might have to wait a little longer for the next one - until 2012. Care to put that rumour to bed?
That was personal opinion which we respect. The details of everything related to the future of the brand aren't known by everyone. Unfortunately not everyone is in the loop. There are a group of people making plans at a higher level of the organisation - they are the ones that make the decision about where we are going. There are things we are working on but I can't talk about it. That was misleading information; it was more of an expression of personal opinion, or observation.
So there's still a chance we could see a new AC next year?
I can't talk about next year or the following years. The only thing I can say is that it is our biggest franchise and we're always thinking about new ways of keeping our fans excited and into the brand, so there could be surprises and announcement in the following months - I don't know.
How important is multiplayer for the longevity of the boxed game?
The consumers will tell us - we're looking forward to seeing their feedback. We feel strongly that it is going to be exciting. We saw the reaction at E3 where we won the award for best online game. We were happy and surprised at that but at the same time we're going to watch feedback, if it will be something we look at to evolve and maintain the franchise. We're just waiting for the consumer feedback.