Why have you not learned from your mistake?
Anyone who’s vaguely familiar with video games has probably heard of the Assassin’s Creed series by this point. The franchise debuted almost a decade ago, and has, over the past few years, sunk into a nice groove of releasing one major game every single year, in which the player runs around in a historical setting, stabbing people and acting like a jerk, because of aliens or something.
The aggressive release schedule for the series has caused more than a few awkward moments for the games’ developers. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, for example, was lambasted by fans and critics alike for being a hot, stinky pile of unfinished garbage, with more glitches and bugs than you’d ever expect from a commercial product.
Wisely, Ubisoft took a year off in the wake of this failure in order to regroup and focus on making future games a little more polished.
Oh, and also to make an incredibly bad movie starring Michael Fassbender.
Assassin’s Creed didn’t just underperform at the box office – it killed off the last of the franchise’s goodwill, essentially dooming the series to being mocked eternally for having far outlived the point where it was fun.
Not to be deterred, Ubisoft is currently working on a new Assassin’s Creed game that serves as a prequel to the entire series, no doubt in an attempt to provide a soft reboot for the lore of the series.
Because it’s impossible to keep the company from making bad ideas, though, they’re also now working on a television show.
And, of course, it’s an anime. Because why the hell not at this point.
The news came direct from Adi Shankar, who’s been hard at work on a similar cartoon adaptation of the Castlevania games for Netflix. Shankar is, in fairness, a respected producer whose credits include things like Dredd and the bootleg Power/Rangers fanfilm that won attention a little while before Lionsgate made a much worse film with a much larger budget.
The problem with both the Assassin’s Creed and Castlevania TV shows, though, is that nobody really wants to watch what boils down to an extended cutscene for a game that they can’t play.
Thus far, no movie or TV show based on a video game has been more fun than actually playing a game. This is hardly a surprise, as playing games is a lot of fun, and watching cutscenes within these games is often one of the more dull parts of the experience.
That Ubisoft is so eager to step back into the fray after they first, very public failure with the Assassin’s Creed brand suggests that the company is going to try hammering audiences over the head repeatedly until we all bow down and accept it as part of our wider culture.
Considering that nobody actually wants Assassin’s Creed to grow beyond its current place in gaming, it’s unlikely that the new TV cartoon is going to have the impact that Ubisoft wants.
Maybe if we’re really lucky, when this thing flops, Ubisoft will just stop wasting our time with Assassin’s Creed stuff in general, and will just focus on making a single decent game in the series every few years.
It’s probably not worth holding your breath for, though. Not when the company needs to justify all the wasted money they paid Michael Fassbender.