Perhaps in a bid to soften the blow of its recently announced bad news, Ubisoft has revealed that the next entry in the Assassin’s Creed series – tentatively scheduled with a fiscal year 2010-11 release date – will feature an online multiplayer component.
The announcement – along with the aforementioned bad news – was made in a press release issued by Ubisoft in which it revised its fiscal year 2009-10 estimates. The publisher also announced other upcoming entries into established franchises in the same statement. “The 2010-11 fiscal year will see a greater number of franchise releases than fiscal year 2009-10, including Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction, a new game in the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series, Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands, Driver, Raving Rabbids 4 and a new episode of Assassin's Creed, which will be the first in the series to have an online multiplayer mode.”
It will be the first game in the series to include online multiplayer. Historically, the franchise’s creative director, Patrice Desilets, has claimed that the focus for Assassin’s Creed has always been the single-player experience.
"Assassin's Creed will not feature any multiplayer or online functionality," said Desilets to Gamespot back in 2007. "We wanted to make a great game first and foremost, but did not want to add a multiplayer mode just for the sake of it. It had to fit with the core gameplay experience, which essentially centres around a solitary assassin."
No details are available as to the nature of the multiplayer component at this time.