Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft has at least two new Far Cry experiences coming down the road. One will effectively be Far Cry 7, the next mainline game in the hit first-person shooter series. The other is a standalone multiplayer spin-off and likely the company’s latest attempt to create a live-service money-maker around one of its most successful franchises.
Insider Gaming reported on Thursday that the next single-player game in the Far Cry series is internally known as Project Blackbird and that the standalone multiplayer component is internally called Project Maverick. It also says that both were originally born of a single game that was previously under the supervision of Dan Hay, the franchise’s former overseer at Ubisoft Montreal. He left Ubisoft in 2021 and is now working at Blizzard on its unannounced survival game.
While Kotaku can’t corroborate the projects’ origins, it can confirm that Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot referenced both of these games in an internal company update last week, according to sources present. Far Cry has often included both co-op and competitive multiplayer, but this would be the first time in the franchise’s history that online multiplayer was packaged into a standalone title. Kotaku can’t yet confirm exactly what it will include, or whether it will have overlap with the story campaign of Far Cry 7.
According to three current and former Ubisoft developers, however, the next mainline game in the series will be switching from its existing Dunia engine to Snowdrop, the engine used for The Division 2 and Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world Star Wars game. They considered this an improvement over the legacy engine, which originally grew out of the CryEngine belonging to Crytek, the studio behind 2004’s very first Far Cry.
Ubisoft has been trying to make a fully multiplayer Far Cry game for many years now, sources have told Kotaku. Those efforts were often either canceled or morphed into other projects, including the single-player-driven Far Cry games that were eventually released. It’s possible the current split is yet another compromise of that nature.
But the appeal of a robust live-service Far Cry game for Ubisoft is clear. 2015’s Rainbow Six Siege continues to be a huge money maker for the publisher. Meanwhile, Far Cry 5’s arcade content creator never really took off, and Far Cry 6 lacked a competitive mode entirely. The series’ post-launch DLC has also fallen flat compared to the multi-year seasons in Assassin’s Creed.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Ubisoft told Kotaku,“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”