While speculation has been heating up as to the location and time setting of the next instalment in Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed franchise, one man who's not getting involved in the debate is Ashraf Ismail, director of last year's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Speaking to IGN last night after the BAFTA Game Awards 2014, Ismail refused to give anything away, even going so far as to say he can't even mention whether or not another instalment in the franchise is under development.
With Assassin’s Creed we always say that history is our playground. The questions are always about what time periods we go into, but that’s a decision based on whether these time periods are interesting for fans, interesting for us as developers, and what it’d mean for the game mechanics.
We don’t bind ourselves to game mechanics, but we really look at what is interesting historically speaking, and what game mechanics that naturally brings up. Hopefully then, the fans love and enjoy it. Ican’t really talk about the future of the brand or where it’s going, I won’t even acknowledge that a game is in the works!
I love that people loved [the naval battles]in Black Flag. It was a risk for us to make it part of the core of an Assassin’s game, but people really took to it and loved it, which is really gratifying for us. As I said though, whatever period in time we choose? That’s what dictates the kind of mechanics we put in the game, not the other way around.
Despite his refusal to be drawn on the future of the series, it seems to be the industry's worst kept secret that development on the fifth instalment is well under way, and it should only be a matter of time before the studio feels ready to unveil the setting, protagonist and direction the series is taking.