Assassin's Creed Red: Everything we know so far about AC Japan

An assassin on the roof of Assassin's Creed Codename Red
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Red is one of the exciting new upcoming Assassin's Creed games announced. As well as the announcement of Assassin's Creed Mirage, which is one of our top new games for 2023, Codename Red was revealed alongside Assassin's Creed Hexe in an the Ubisoft Forward 2022 showcase. One things for sure: AC fans have a lot to look forward to.

But what makes Assassin's Creed Red so exciting? Well, it's set to explore a period in history that has long been on the mind of fans and has been rumored for quite some time: Ancient Japan. Developed by Ubisoft Quebec, the studio that worked on Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Codename Red is set to be the next big "flagship" entry in the stealthy series that's set to launch after Mirage. 

With the recent news that E3 2023 has been officially canceled, it's no telling when we might hear more about any of the upcoming Assassin's Creed games. In the meantime, read on below to find out everything we know so far about Assassin's Creed Red. 

What is Assassin's Creed Red?

Assassin's Creed Japan will be the next major game in the Assassin's Creed franchise, following the success of 2020's Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Developer Marc-Alexis Cote, who has served as both creative director and producer on some of the best Assassin's Creed games, described Codename Red as Ubisoft's "next premium flagship title" before teasing that it will be "the future of our open-world RPG games on Assassin's Creed." 

Assassin's Creed Red trailer

The Assassin's Creed Codename Red reveal trailer was just 30 seconds long, but it was big on surprises. You can watch the footage above, which seems to confirm the return of the Animus (and the narrative split between past and present), the new Feudal Japan setting, and our first look at the all new assassin – who's wielding a one-handed sword, hidden blade, and jet-black Assassin Order robes.

Assassin's Creed Red setting

Assassin's Creed Codename Red

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed has explored no fewer than 10 different locations around the world since the series made its debut 15 years ago, but it has never ventured into Japan – until now that is. Marc-Alexis Cote says that Assassin's Creed Codename Red setting will "let players explore one of their most awaited settings ever on the franchise, Feudal Japan" where we'll finally get the chance to "live a very powerful Shinobi fantasy." Ubisoft is yet to confirm the exact period of history we'll be roaming around, although knowing that Assassin's Creed Japan is actually happening is enough to keep our curiosity satiated for now.  

Assassin's Creed Red development

Assassin's Creed

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Codename Red is in development at Ubisoft Quebec. The studio cut its teeth creating expansions for Assassin's Creed 3 and Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, impressing the powers that be enough that it became the first studio outside of series creator Ubisoft Montreal to be handed the reins of a mainline installment. Ubisoft Quebec went on to lead development of 2015's Assassin's Creed Syndicate and 2018's Assassin's Creed Odyssey. While it's unclear how long Assassin's Creed Codename Red has been in development, we do know that Jonathan Dumont will be returning as creative director – a role he fulfilled on both AC Odyssey and Ubisoft Quebec's Immortals Fenyx Rising, which was released in 2020.  

Assassin's Creed Red leaks

Assassin's Creed Infinity roadmap

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Codename Red has been no stranger to leaks and rumors. Word of an Assassin's Creed Japan game first surfaced in July 2022, although it was unclear whether it would be a standalone experience or part of the broader Assassin's Creed Infinity offering. We now know that Assassin's Creed Codename Red will be the next major instalment to the series, although at the time it set the internet on fire. And for good reason: This has been a long time coming. 

While Assassin's Creed: Fragments – a series of YA novels – allowed us to peer into the lives of The Blade of Aizu (who were based out of Japan), and there have been a handful of teases in the mainline games over the years, the setting has always been demanded but never delivered. Thankfully, on this occasion, the rumors turned out to be true – and who knows how long we'll be waiting for more information. 

The most recent leaks have come form an undisclosed inside source, via Insider Gaming. If the leaks hold true, we can expect to choose between two playable characters in Codename Red: a Samurai or a Shinobi. Whether character selection will work similarly to Odyssey and lock in our choice for the game's duration or if we will be able to swap mid-game, we aren't yet certain. In the announcement trailer, we can see the female Samurai character, and according to Insider Gaming,  the as-yet unseen Shinobi is "understood to be an African refugee, who learned the way of the Creed."

Playing as Samurais and Shinobis, it makes sense that an earlier leak from Insider Gaming let slip that Codename Red will hone in on stealth gameplay.

Assassin's Creed Red has no release date, but while we wait for more info why not check out some of the most exciting upcoming PS5 games or upcoming Xbox Series X games?

Josh West
UK Managing Editor, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the UK Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. He has over 10 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.

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