Ubisoft's storied Assassin's Creed franchise has almost always seen a yearly release since the first game released in 2007. Among the twelve main games, Ubisoft has skipped a yearly iteration only three times. The most recent occurrence is the two-year gap between Assassin's Creed: Odyssey and Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. Ubisoft launched the former in late 2018 with the latter following suit in late 2020.
However, according to recent rumors, there is a possibility that Ubisoft will skip both 2021 and 2022. If true, this would mark the first time that Ubisoft will not release a new mainline Assassin's Creed game for two straight years.
Will There Be A New Assassin's Creed Game in 2022?
Credible French YouTuber j0nathan is the source of the most recent leaks surrounding the Assassin's Creed franchise. Previously, he correctly leaked the original release date of the latest installment, and also successfully predicted other updates that Ubisoft eventually added to the game.
In addition to this, j0nathan was also the one who recently found evidence that a third unannounced DLC for Valhalla is currently in the works.
As far as leakers go, j0nathan is as credible as they come, though most of his tweets and videos are in French which can be a bit of a language barrier. However, thanks to some enterprising fans on Reddit, specifically u/Boo_User, we now have an idea about what he's talking about in a recent video.
Apparently, according to j0nathan, Ubisoft initially set out to fill the gap between Valhalla and the next Assassin's Creed game with a small-scale stand-alone title. The untitled Assassin's Creed game would have revolved around the former king of England, Richard Cœur de Lion, otherwise known as Richard Lionheart. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ubisoft ultimately decided to shelve the project. The company then reassigned the smaller Ubisoft studio initially tasked to work on the now-canceled game to focus their efforts on the rumored third DLC for Valhalla, Meteor.
j0nathan adds that he's not sure what Ubisoft plans on doing to the Assassin's Creed game on Richard Lionheart now that it's no longer in development. He mentioned that Ubisoft could fuse the canceled project with the unannounced third DLC for Valhalla. On the other hand, he didn't deny the possibility of Ubisoft giving the idea to another studio instead. Either way, one thing that j0nathan reportedly makes clear in his recent video is that Ubisoft has started working on a third DLC for Valhalla.
What Does Ubisoft Have Planned for Assassin's Creed in 2022?
If there's no new Assassin's Creed in 2022, then what does Ubisoft have planned for the flagship franchise? Well, j0nathan claims that Ubisoft reconsidered their post-launch plans for Valhalla after seeing the historical sales numbers of the game - Valhalla is currently Ubisoft's most successful launch title on the PC. Valhalla also outsold any other Assassin's Creed game during its first week.
Before the game's release, Ubisoft had already detailed their post-launch roadmap for Valhalla. This included two major expansions in Wrath of the Druids and The Siege of Paris. The former was initially set to release on April 29. However, Ubisoft has since pushed the release date of Wrath of the Druids back by a couple of weeks to give themselves more time to "deliver a more refined experience".
With that said, it certainly makes sense for Ubisoft to rethink its plans for Valhalla, and they may end up releasing even more post-launch content for Valhalla than they did for Odyssey. The 2018 title had arguably the most robust post-launch content for any Assassin's Creed game before it. In addition to remastered editions of both Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed Liberation, the game's season pass also included two three-part DLCs.
The Legacy of the First Blade and The Fate of Atlantis added dozens of hours' worth of content to Odyssey. Ubisoft spread the new content across a total of six episodes and continued the narrative story of Odyssey using both expansions.
Should Ubisoft choose to provide more extensive post-launch support for Valhalla, a third DLC is needed. However, according to j0nathan, there is the possibility that Ubisoft might release the rumored Valhalla expansion as a standalone title. This would make it similar to another Ubisoft title, Far Cry New Dawn, which was effectively a narrative sequel to Far Cry 5.
When Will the Next Assassin's Creed Game Release?
At this point, only Ubisoft knows when they're going to release the next Assassin's Creed game. It is possible that what j0nathan is saying is true. In that case, it'll be a while before we see a thirteenth mainline installment. A smaller, standalone release is still possible, and Ubisoft has historically had success with standalone releases for the Assassin's Creed franchise.
Case in point, there are nearly just as many Assassin's Creed spin-off games as there are mainline installments. Plus, like the aforementioned Far Cry New Dawn, Ubisoft's spin-offs for their other IPs have fared well.
Hopefully, we hear more about upcoming Valhalla content at E3 2021 in June. Ubisoft is one of the major companies confirmed to take part in the first-ever digital-only E3 showcase. Other companies who have committed to E3 2021 include Take-Two, Nintendo, Xbox, and Konami, among others.