Confirmation of the franchise's hiatus next year comes from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot at Gamescom. Guillemot has said that rather than push to create a brand new game, the team will instead support Assassin's Creed Odyssey with additional content updates as a way to retain players following the game's launch this October. While it doesn't appear there are any plans to return to releasing games annually, Guillemot says that the reason for the short time between the launch of Assassin's Creed Origins and Assassin's Creed Odyssey is due to both games having been in development simultaneously.
The choice to pull away from releasing a new Assassin's Creed game each year dates back four years ago, when Assassin's Creed Unity launched with numerous technical issues that gained attention in a negative light. The extent of the botched launch saw Ubisoft releasing large patches to fix the game, while offering DLC content for free as a courtesy for players, despite the game already selling below expectations. The poor sales from Unity continued into the next year with a weak showing from Assassin's Creed Syndicate which, while showing better reception from fans than Unity, indicated franchise fatigue was setting in.
After taking the year off in 2016, Assassin's Creed: Origins launched last year to the delight of many. Much like the noted desire to support its upcoming game with post launch content, AC Origins has done the same by launching timed events, a new game plus mode, and multiple DLC story expansions. Origins also saw the return to the franchise's roots by being a fully single-player experience, which will be the same with Assassin's Creed Odyssey when it launches.
The upcoming Assassin's Creed Odyssey, while maintaining much of the gameplay feel of 2017's Origins, brings with it a new layer of narrative depth and exploration. For the first time in the series, players will be able to make dialog choices that shape the way the story ends. In addition to having a much larger map and the choice between playing as either a male or female protagonist, Odyssey has been confirmed to have a much larger world and story to explore than any game in the series.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey launches on October 5th for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.