Assassin’s Creed Valhalla got too big for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Following two major expansions for the open-world RPG and forthcoming third one, Ubisoft is turning a planned fourth into its own spinoff, Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reports.
Over the course of last year, the approximately 87,462-hour-long Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was supplanted by a wave of post-release content. The first big expansion, Wrath of the Druids, sent main character Eivor to the far reaches of Ireland. That campaign was followed, in the summer, by The Siege of Paris, which sent Eivor across the Channel to France. (Yes, eons before foreign-exchange programs became a thing, Eivor carved out the exact path tred by countless students not yet of American drinking age.) Later this year, it’ll receive the massive-sounding Dawn of Ragnarok expansion.
Per Bloomberg’s sources, who spoke under condition of anonymity, Ubisoft had been working on a third expansion before pivoting the project to a standalone game in order to compensate for an array of massive delays among its upcoming slate of games. Codenamed “Rift,” it’s apparently of a more manageable scale than prior Assassin’s Creed games—widely known for their bloat these days—and will put a renewed focus on stealthy gameplay. It’s reportedly planned for release later this year or sometime early next.
Reportedly, it’ll star Basim, a key character from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla who—and those who’ve successfully rolled credits on Valhalla can attest to the extent of his personality here—is kind of a freakin’ jerk! (Spoilers in that link.) It’s unclear whether or not you’d play Basim immediately following the events of Valhalla or in some manner of prequel story.
The development of “Rift” comes amid turmoil for Ubisoft and its portfolio of globe-spanning studios. Skull & Bones, a seafaring game developed by Ubisoft Singapore, which was under investigation for widespread reports of discrimination and sexual harassment, has been delayed (and delayed…and delayed). Beyond Good and Evil 2, most recently shown off in 2017 and again in a 2018 cinematic trailer, is nowhere to be seen. And the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed Infinity, a live-service game revealed instantly after it was leaked last year, is so far off as to barely merit a thought. Whenever that comes out, Bloomberg’s sources say it’ll happen sometime after “Rift.”
Representatives for Ubisoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.