Assassin's Creed may be returning to the Middle East, but only after a year of uncharacteristic absence. A self-professed, unidentified Ubisoft developer laid out details about the next big AC game on 4chan, which is the sort of unverifiable tidbit we would usually file into a drawer somewhere ... except it also lines up with information independently gathered by Kotaku (opens in new tab) over the last year (Kotaku also leaked both Assassin's Creed Syndicate (opens in new tab) and Unity ahead of time, so it has a pretty good track record here).
According to the reports, the next Assassin's Creed is codenamed Empire and will be set in ancient Egypt. That would put it far behind every other game in the nearly ten year old franchise, historically speaking, giving Ubisoft plenty freedom to go back to basics in terms of both narrative and game mechanics.
Making a (relatively) clean start would require a substantial amount of work, and the reports claim that Ubisoft will allow for more development time by breaking the streak of major yearly Assassin's Creed releases it's maintained since 2009. That doesn't mean Ubisoft will be without a new open-world action game for the holidays. Kotaku says that the unannounced Watch Dogs 2, this time based in San Francisco instead of Chicago, may fill that slot by the end of the year.
NeoGAF (opens in new tab) user Turkoop collected all of the comments from the self-professed Ubisoft employee in one post, which you can check for more details. But assuming the next big Assassin's Creed game really is planned for 2017, there's still plenty of time for big changes to occur. Skepticism is wise even if the details match up for now.
An Ubisoft representative told us that the company "can’t comment on rumor or speculation," but that it's "always happy when players are excited about our games, past, present and future."
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