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Ubisoft dev: We want Assassin's Creed to be a franchise like Mario

"Since when is something less amazing if you get a new one every year?"

Assassin's Creed began as a trilogy but now the plan is to turn the Ubisoft blockbuster into a long running franchise, the game's creative director has said.

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In a wide-ranging and candid interview with CVG, Alex Hutchinson defended Ubisoft's policy of turning its key IP into an annualised property.

"Since when is something less amazing if you get a new one every year?" he said.

"If Breaking Bad was shown twice a week I'd watch it twice a week. If Radiohead put out an album every six months I'd gladly buy one every six months."

Since its first release in 2007, Ubisoft has published four key instalments in the Assassin's Creed series, along with at least four other spin-off titles. In October the publisher will launch the highly anticipated Assassin's Creed 3, along with a standalone portable edition for PS Vita.

Hutchinson said that the policy of institutionalising blockbuster games into a franchise is a necessity for any business that invests significant sums of money for exceptionally high quality content.

"If people want these massive triple-A blockbusters, people will have to accept that we have to make our money back somehow," he said.

"It's rare that you'll make your money back on the first one. Assassin's Creed 3 is a huge undertaking - we went back to basics on a number of things, including tech."

He also argued that successful blockbuster games allow publishers to take more risks in other parts of the business.

"Any revenue that a publisher can get to make riskier projects is cool with me. People say it's the dark side of capitalism but it's more like communism; we have big projects whose success pay for the little projects," he said.

In response to criticisms of previous Assassin's Creed games for not meeting expectations on quality, Hutchinson said: "We were reading reviews about Assassin's Creed Revelations and a few people were asking whether this was the end of the franchise, and we were thinking 'er slow down'. I mean, I'm no huge fan of Metacritic but the game got an eighty on there. That's not too bad really."

He added: "The way we see Assassin's Creed 3 now is as a franchise, like Mario or Resident Evil, that will have its ups and downs. It wasn't the original plan to be an ongoing series, no, but it became the plan. The curse of success, for want of better phrase.

"But if you can keep a series interesting and fresh then I don't see why it shouldn't go on. Nintendo has been great at reinvigorating their franchises, as have other Japanese companies, so we feel we can too."

The retail launch for Assassin's Creed 3 begins October 30th.

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