Assassin's Creed used to be an annual fixture on Ubisoft's schedule. The plan worked for years as audiences loved every new and exciting experience that the series brought to the table. Unfortunately, the stealth-action adventure games started to run out of steam in 2013 after the release of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
A few years later, Ubisoft revamped the entire franchise, turning Assassin's Creed into an open-world RPG with stealth elements. Since then, Ubisoft has only released three Assassin's Creed games between 2017 and 2021. Instead of new installments, Ubisoft shifted its focus towards massive expansions for each game.
Having said that, fans expected Ubisoft to skip releasing a new installment this year and perhaps even in 2023. After all, Ubisoft made another bold change by announcing that it would continue supporting 2020's Assassin's Creed Valhalla beyond the game's second year. But, it appears that this isn't necessarily the case.
Apparently, Rift, the code name of the upcoming Assassin's Creed game, will be out later this year if not early 2023. The project was originally an expansion for Assassin's Creed Valhalla before Ubisoft decided that it would be better to release it as a standalone title. In addition to its potential release date, Bloomberg's sources claim that Rift will star Basim and will feature stealth-oriented gameplay similar to Assassin's Creed games of the past.
It's worth paying attention to what Bloomberg said about Ubisoft's plans for Assassin's Creed. Eurogamer also added further credence to Bloomberg's intel, saying that Rift could follow Basim's days in Baghdad before he became a master assassin. If this is true, it would be a true return to the series' roots and give Assassin's Creed fans something they've always wanted - a return to the series' original stealth-oriented gameplay.
Unfortunately, we won't know for sure when Ubisoft is going to release Rift and what its official title is going to be until it's close to launching.
If it's any consolation, Ubisoft usually schedules big announcements at showcases and events like E3. If the all-digital E3 2022 pushes through, we might just see Ubisoft reveal its plans for Assassin's Creed in June.