E3 2020 might be canceled, but many of the games that would've been revealed there are still coming out this year. That means publishers have to get crafty about their announcements. Ubisoft is kicking off the season of hype with a stream teasing the next Assassin's Creed. Over the course of the livestream event, artist Kode "BossLogic" Abdo will be creating a drawing highlighting the setting of the new game. Viewers can watch the entire stream on Twitch, Mixer, or YouTube.
We've seen some previous hints and rumors involving the setting of the next Assassin's Creed. A poster appearing in The Division 2 showed a Norse figure holding an object like the Apple of Eden, emblazoned with the word "Valhalla". That points to an Assassin's Creed game in the era of the Vikings, roughly from 793–1066 AD. That tease was backed up by former Kotaku writer Jason Schreier, who reported that his sources said the title, code-named Kingdom, would indeed involve Vikings.
That time period would put this new entry chronologically after Assassin's Creed Origins and Odyssey, but prior to the first Assassin's Creed. The Assassin Brotherhood was established by Assassin's Creed Origins protagonist Bayek in 48 BC, with the first game starting in 1190 AD. Assuming the rumors are correct, this means we'd be getting a proper assassin again, potentially one that could connect in some way with Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's past.
The Assassin's Creed franchise saw a new entry every year following 2009's Assassin's Creed 2, but in 2016 Ubisoft decided to give main entries more development time in 2016. Assassin's Creed Origins launched in 2017, followed by Assassin's Creed Odyssey in 2018, and another break for the series in 2019. Given a 2020 release, this could theoretically be coming from the team that developed Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed Origins. Or perhaps one of Ubisoft's other studios, like Assassin's Creed Rogue developer Ubisoft Sofia, is stepping up to handle the franchise this time.
A French fan did find listings for a new Assassin's Creed novel on several sites, including Amazon France. The listings show a release date of November 17, 2020, which is likely close to the release of the game. Assassin's Creed Origins' companion novel Desert Oath came out a few weeks prior to the game's release. In contrast, Assassin's Creed Odyssey's novelization came out a few weeks after the video game did.
Of course, if the new Assassin's Creed is coming out in 2020, it does beg the question of where Ubisoft's previously delayed games will go. In October of last year, Ubisoft delayed Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and Watch Dogs Legion into this current fiscal year, which stretches from April 2020 to April 2021. Those games have not been returned to the release schedule yet. In fact, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot recently said the publisher was fine with continuing to delay a major release like Watch Dogs: Legion if the launch windows of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X slipped.
Hopefully, Assassin's Creed is a 2020 release. Regardless, we'll keep tabs on the livestream event and see if we're actually going to be sailing the frigid seas as Viking Assassins.