Assassin's Creed Infinity was leaked and subsequently confirmed by Ubisoft earlier this week. While Infinity is just a codename for the project, we know the intentions Ubisoft now have for the franchise.
What does Assassin's Creed Infinity mean for the popular franchise moving forward, and why might just be the best thing that could possibly happen?
Infinity's Live Service Offering
We know that Ubisoft plan to create a live service offering with Assassin's Creed Infinity, but this probably isn't what you think it is.
The game will not play out like Destiny 2 or The Division where you play through a main story while endgame content is added regularly until the next mainline instalment is ready. Instead, the live service aspect refers to the way all content is produced and released over time.
The genesis of Infinity may be the release of a single Assassin's Creed product. This is likely to be a smaller scale title following a similar formula to previous games. Over time, Ubisoft would make extra content available for those who wish to expand on that experience.
It would be like releasing Assassin's Creed: Valhalla with just the main story content then adding the Asgard arc as additional content for those who wish to experience it. This content could come for free or at a small cost, leaving it solely down to the player to decide whether they want to play it or not.
Once a timeline has all the content Ubisoft have planned for it, they can release a new timeline and repeat the process.
Content Accessibility Moving Forward
When it then comes to adding a brand new area and timeline to Assassin's Creed Infinity, this could also be added in without the need for a whole new game release.
Using Valhalla as an example again, when Ubisoft are finished adding all of the content they want, they can leave everything in place for you to experience while adding the next large scale content update.
This method for adding content allows for players to jump in freely at any point and catch up on content they missed while also experiencing what's coming next.
In theory, you would only need one launcher or hub installed and from there you can decide which content to download. Only want to experience the main story with around 20-30 hours of content? Great, just download the relevant files. Want the full 60+ hour experience with all the bells and whistles attached? You can do that too, download everything and enjoy. Control lies fully with you as the player.
All in all, one of the biggest complaints people have around Assassin's Creed is that the games are just too long. The way content is packed in creates a grind that you just don't have the time to commit to. Comparing Assassin's Creed 2, which felt content heavy even at release, to either Odyssey or Valhalla, is insane, even by today's standards.
If handled right, the Infinity live service offering could suit all types of players and bring in more players willing to give the Assassin's Creed a chance. If you can take away the feeling of dread that you need to put in 30 hours before you've made even a dent in the game, more players will be open to the experience. This appears to be Infinity's ultimate goal.