The original Assassin's Creed game had side missions because "the CEO's kid said it was boring" without them

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

A former Ubisoft employee, Charles Randall, has opened up about the reason why the original Assassin's Creed development team had to create a host of side missions five days before the game was due to ship.

"Ok ok so if you've ever played the original Assassin's Creed, you'd know that there were the missions with the targets, and there were also a bunch of side activities," Randall tweeted, reflecting upon "the craziest [five] days of [their] life". 

"What if I told you those side activities didn't exist in the first submission?"

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"So we're all ready to ship the game, first submission goes pretty well, and then: The News. The CEO's kid played the game and said it was boring and there was nothing to do in the game."

"So my lead comes to me and he says 'so, we have to add a bunch of side activities into the game. We have a plan from Patrice, but I'm not going to say yes unless you are in'. 

"He says, 'we have to put all these side missions into the game in five days, and they have to be bug-free because the build is going to be burned directly to disc and released to retail'."

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Randall went on to add that no new art was created for the additions, so the team "had to use what was there", but insisted "last-minute changes to make a game better are totally normal and not unexpected and any game developer will confirm this. Everyone has a 'second submission' story of some sort. The only reason this is notable is because I shared a funny story".

Not everyone took the story as the anecdote it was intended to be, however.

"You share a 13-year-old story and yet people can't even be respectful enough to treat it as the entertaining anecdote that it is," Randall tweeted. "This is why developers don't share stories online."

In related news, we recently learned that Assassin's Creed Valhalla won't pump the brakes on the story by hitting players with XP barriers, according to creative director Ashraf Ismail.

Ismail acknowledged that after feedback from players of Assassin's Creed Origins and Odyssey, the team had learned not to force players to level up by doing side quests or buying EXP boosters with real money. 

"So we’ve reflected a lot since Origins on progression and what that means for players," Ismail said at the time, "and we have a new take on progression in this game. We have more the concept of power, power that is gained through, let’s say, the player gaining skills." 

Valhalla will revive some of the older aspects of Assassin's Creed, including social stealth and a proper one-hit-kill hidden blade.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.