Philippe Bergeron, the mission director working on Assassin’s Creed 3, reveals that the development team at Ubisoft wanted to add an important cooperative element to the first game in the series, but dropped it because of resource concerns.
The developer tells The Official Xbox Magazine that, “Before we knew about the Desmond story and Animus link, we had a huge co-op component in there. But it just became too hard to do: the engine couldn’t support it, and then the metaphor we had above it didn’t support it.”
He adds, “Co-op was one of those big things at the beginning that just didn’t make sense in the end. For us it was really part of the single player experience, to have in-and-out co-op, and in the end we never thought it made sense in the storyline that we had for the Animus.”
Ubisoft wanted to center the Assassin’s Creed experience on the memories of Desmond’s ancestors, but their fixed nature, as revealed in single player, did not allow the team to add a cooperative experience.
After the concept of the game became successful, Ubisoft reconsidered the possibility of multiplayer and added it in the sequels.
Cooperative game modes are one of the hottest trends in gaming right now because they allow developers to tell alternate stories and increase the time a player spends with one title.
Ubisoft said that Assassin’s Creed 3 was designed to close the current story arc of the franchise.
The developers have not yet said what they plan to do with the universe in the future, but a cooperative-focused experience linked to the memories of other ancestors is a possibility.
Ubisoft has also bought the THQ Montreal recently, which is led by the Patrice Desilets, the developer who led the Assassin’s Creed team on the first two entries in the series.