It’s finally happening: Assassin’s Creed is going to Japan. After a series of earlier reports and leaks, Ubisoft finally made the news official during Saturday’s 2022 gaming showcase.
It was just a short tease, but we got a quick animated glimpse of a ninja slinking through the shadows in feudal Japan. Called Project Red at the moment, Ubisoft confirmed the game will be the next major entry in the series’ latest open world RPG turn. Development is being led by Ubisoft Quebec, the studio that previously helmed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. It’s also being directed by Jonathan Dumont, one of the many senior figures within Ubisoft to be accused of bullying and other toxic behavior during a workplace reckoning at the company in 2020. The company has previously claimed that anyone accused of misconduct had been thoroughly investigated and sanctioned where appropriate.
Fans have been hoping for an Assassin’s Creed game based in Japan for years, and it appears the French publisher has finally relented. How exactly the series’ evolving open world RPG formula will play out there remains to be seen, but now it seems like Sucker Punch’s critically-acclaimed stealthy sandbox Ghost of Tsushima will officially have some competition.
The rumors around the game, codenamed Project Red, began swirling earlier this summer. Bloomberg later reported that the game would be part of Assassin’s Creed Infinity, a new platform intended to incorporate multiple time periods and worlds to help players move between them more seamlessly.
Project Red is just one of three new Assassin’s Creed games coming, however. There’s also Assassin’s Creed Mirage, which began as a DLC expansion for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla before transforming into a smaller standalone game to help fill gaps in Ubisoft’s release calendar. Project Neo/Hex, meanwhile, is a third game seemingly set in Europe during the era of witch hunts that is also coming further down the road.
Ubisoft appears to be banking hard on the continued success of its biggest franchise. The Division 2 and Watch Dogs Legion didn’t exactly propel either of those series to new heights, and the French publisher has yet to find a multiplayer live service game that can replicate the success of Rainbow Six Siege. Meanwhile, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and, more recently, Valhalla, were both excellent, and have been multi-year sales juggernauts for the company. Hopefully, doubling down on that formula doesn’t run it into the ground.
Earlier in September, Ubisoft announced that Chinese conglomerate Tencent is buying a 49.9 percent economic stake in the investment vehicle that has allowed leaders at Ubisoft to retain control at the company. Everyone, it seems, is betting big on Assassin’s Creed.