Hold on to your butts, this bit of news might make budget-conscious readers flip a switch and drop a load. The game director for the upcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has revealed that the game had more than 900 people working on the game... 900 people... that's one zero away from being over 9000.
The Examiner managed to talk with game director Ashraf Ismail, who laid out the law of the lands plain and simple regarding how many people worked on the latest iteration of Assassin's Creed, as well as the possibility of an Assassin's Creed Universe game to combine all previous eras into one game...
"From a pure production standpoint, it would be very, very difficult to do something like that. On this game, we’ve had over 900 people working on it. With the Assassin’s Creed machine and being the game director, even I am sometimes amazed. It takes 900 people to create the content for this game, so to try to do multiple worlds that are all big and fleshed out with unique characters in them, I’m not sure it would bring that much to the player.
Ishmail goes on to talk about how they also have more than two hours of cinematics jam packed into the Assassin's Creed IV experience and that they wanted to make sure that every single second of cinematic capture was pitch-perfect, going for quality over quantity.
Just to further drive the point home about an Assassin's Creed Universe, and that they won't be doing anything on such a large scale at their studio, Ishmail states...
“I do see this idea where you are playing in different mini-worlds and you are playing as different assassins, but I don’t think you’ll ever see America with Connor, Ezio in Italy, and the Caribbean with Edward in one game. I don’t think it makes sense for us to do,"
Well that's... that's... good? Bad? It's tough to say at this point. There's also a lot of mixed feelings about the Assassin's Creed franchise at this point.
The one thing that stands out most to me is the 900 people working on the game. It's insane that so many people are cracking away on this game from all over the world and it really does beg the question as to whether or not a budget for a game of this magnitude is sustainable?
The only way we'll be able to tell whether or not Ubisoft can keep it up with using 600, 700 and now 900 people on a project will be with the quarterly profits (if there are any) and if the price of production favors auspiciously on the side of a strong return on the investment.
For now, we can only speculate about the potential quality of Assassin's Creed IV and based on the gameplay videos and promo material, it's obvious that this is a great looking game but the gameplay is still an absolute mystery at this point, but we'll find out soon enough once the game lands on retail shelves for current gen consoles, next gen consoles and PC.