Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - Director and Producer talk dumbing down, milking it, co-op and AC3's setting

VINCENT PONTBRIAND, AC: Brotherhood Producer

GR: Good work with the Brotherhood presentation at E3!

VP: (laughs) I don’t know how I did...

GR: Really? Were you nervous?

VP: You know, I really don’t like those things. When I was young in school I hated presentations, I was the most terrible pupil in class. I was super shy, but because I talk about what I do now it’s easier than improvising when I was at school.

GR: That’s funny, because I thought Ubi had stumbled upon a great natural successor to Patrice and Jade...!

VP: I try to be super serious in what I do. I prepare, but I wouldn’t intentionally put myself out there.

GR: Did you not put yourself forward?

VP: I had the option of sending someone else, but I figured I kinda had to do it.

GR: Well, it’s good for your career.

VP: But I’m not career driven. I just want to make good games. I’m a creator. I was actually a 3D artist at the beginning...

GR: I was chatting to Cliff B, the guys at Bungie. There aren’t all that many mouthpieces for the gaming industry, most people seem reticent to come forward. Cliff has a rep that’s good and bad, but at least he’s out there. Do we need more people like him?

VP: Why not? I think we need those kinds of figures; they put a name on the industry. Otherwise, for those outside of videogames, we’re just all a bunch of nerds

GR: Where does AC sit in the whole ‘games as art’ thing?

VP: We wanted to do something way more serious with AC1 than what the project ended up being. Ultimately the more mainstream a game is, the more it sells. With AC the more buzz we got the more the mainstream interest ramped up – and so we ended up dumbing it down just a bit to make it more accessible...

GR: Did that order come from higher up?

VP: It’s both, we realised it ourselves on the dev team, but higher up Ubi’s philosophy is definitely to have accessible, finishable games.

GR: Talking of Lineage, is that paving the way for Ubi and Hollywood – especially after the PoP Thing? Could Assassin’s be Ubi’s Prince of Persia going forward...?

VP: It will happen one day; Ubi will eventually make a movie out of one of its game series for sure. We’re just very afraid that, y’know, so far there aren’t a lot of movies that showcase gaming in a good light.

GR: PoP did okay, no?

VP: It was the most ambitious so far, but still... I don’t know. It could have been a Pirates of the Caribbean level success, but maybe it was the casting, something else...

GR: I think what it might be is that it’s stigmatised by its association with videogames...

VP: Really? Just that...?

GR: I still think the public are very negative about gaming movies, and I say that as a huge evangelist for the importance of games nowadays.

VP: Do you think most people knew that film had a gaming background?

GR: Well most pieces written about it mentioned the fact!

 VP: Eventually it will work out, like it did for superhero movies. The first ones were crap – I remember Captain America! It was b-movie. But then X-Men came along, Spider-man, Watchmen...

GR: Maybe it’s about budgets...

VP: It’s not about money, it’s about creators respecting a franchise for what it is, understanding it. Putting an angle that works. Retelling the story of Spider-man, for instance... that was a super smart move.

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  • philipshaw - November 2, 2010 6:28 p.m.

    Very intresting read, I didn'k know that stuff about Kojima and I'm a huge MGS fanboy
  • miguellmfao - November 2, 2010 4:55 a.m.

    AC 3 has to be in the present, please D: 8==========D
  • Dabenguin - November 2, 2010 2:43 a.m.

    very well done GR UK, good job
  • pr0tostar - November 2, 2010 12:11 a.m.

    Nice, I had my doubts for Japan as being the next setting, my two biggest guesses were Victorian England around the industrial revolution, or something like the time around when Desmond's ancestors immigrated to the US. But for right now I'm ready for some Rome!
  • TruckThunders - November 1, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    Why is everyone so excited to collect 420 flags in co-op? AC fans confuse me.
  • santaclouse37 - November 1, 2010 8:39 p.m.

    Interesting. I was kind of hoping that AC3 would take place during World War I, it would be all kinds of kick-ass exploring the weird weapons of the time (still stuck halfway between everything, with almost every modern weapons used now in some experimental prototype form), and there'd be absolutely no shortage of political enemies to assassinate to manipulate the different sides of the conflict.
  • litrock - November 1, 2010 3:12 p.m.

    AC3 really needs to be Desmond in the present-future being all cyberpunk-assassin. I'm not sure anything else would really work as a final entry into what was supposed to be a trilogy. Great interview, though. Would love to see more of these in the future. And maybe in audio/video form at some point.
  • EdDeRs1 - November 1, 2010 2:51 p.m.

    a few of my mates were at the expo and played the brotherhood multiplayer, according to them it was fuck epic and my mate Sunny was winning at it so the last 3 other players tracked him down and all 3 came at him at one, and im told his personal quote was "OH FUCK"
  • nadrewod999 - November 1, 2010 1:45 p.m.

    Two great games coming out the same day. Good thing I fully pre-ordered them both. My life post-11/16 will mostly consist of busting racers as a Hot Pursuit cop or busting faces as a Renaissance-era Assassin.
  • Jbo87 - November 1, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    November 19th cannot come quickly enough. I love Ass Creed, probably more than any other franchise in the history of gaming. Bring it on.
  • ninjaemperor - November 1, 2010 11 a.m.

    This was an incredibly honest intervie.
  • KidKatana - November 1, 2010 10:51 a.m.

    Victorian London's about as recent a time period as I'd be happy with from AC - no World War 2 please. I've got my fingers crossed for a British India setting with an assassin fighting against the Raj.
  • Clovin64 - November 1, 2010 10:28 a.m.

    Very interesting stuff. Victorian London would be an awesome location for AC3. Very "cloak and dagger" sort of gameplay, with dark foggy streets at night...lovely.
  • StrayGator - November 1, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    I declare an interquel naming contest! Assassin's creed II-2? Rome city stories?
  • bluscorp - November 1, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    I love the Assassin's Creed games, can't wait for Brotherhood.
  • AxiamWolfe - November 1, 2010 8:39 a.m.

    Always good to read some interviews, get the dev's perspective. BTW Page 4: I didn't know Ezio had a Rocket Launcher Rowboat! Friggin awesome.
  • speno93 - November 1, 2010 8:03 a.m.

    pretty cool , i am really excited for brotherhood, can't wait till release day. Also Victorian London spring heeled jack assassin would be awesome
  • WillisTron - November 1, 2010 7:47 a.m.

    Very interesting read