I reaaaaaally dislike yearly installments. There's no way around that fact, so I figured I'd just spell that out right in the beginning here and get it out of the way.
Yearly installments only serve to make the developer and publisher more money by exploiting the fanbase of an established series. They serve up some tweaks to the previous games but nothing that really pulls the series forward, and in the end it only hurts the series in the long run
Back when Assassins Creed (the original) was announced I was really excited about it. The game looked right up my alley: It had stealth elements, were set during the crusades and looked like it drew some inspiration from two of my favorite series: Hitman and Thief
When released back in 2007, the game had it's problems, but overall I enjoyed it. Not nearly as much as Hitman Blood Money or Thief 2, but still, I liked it and I was excited for the next installment. Two years later in 09 Assassins Creed 2 hit the shelves, and was met with critical and commercial acclaim, I loved the game and it's one of the few cases this generation where I've finished the game multiple times (once I even did it with the Italian Dub) I hearted that game so much, and again my nose turned towards the next installment in the series, Getting ready to wait another 2 years (which I was content with to be honest=
In 2010 Assassins Creed: Brotherhood was announced, Well it wasn't really announced, or that's not how I perceived it at that time, I actually thought it was an expansion pack of some sort. some big piece of DLC for the copy of Assassins Creed 2 that I already owned. Not being opposed to good DLC's I had half a mind to pick it up when it released. but when the marketing more and more told us that this was a stand alone game,, I was kind of confused for a while and didn't pick it up initially, because I didn't want to play another Assassins Creed game so soon after having completed AC2 for the second time
But before the year was out, I had gotten and played Assassins Creed Brotherhood to completion. and I was left somewhat disappointed, the game did all that AC2 did, and in some ways improved the formula by adding new elements like the ability to train and manage your own assassins, but it just wasn't enough for me to give me the same feeling Assassins Creed 1 and 2 did before.
Then the next year, Assassins Creed Revelations were revealed, and I kind of saw the picture of what was going on. What started out as one of my favorite series this generation had all too quickly become one of those series that releases yearly installments
New installments each year that basically gives you the same game all over again, just with a new story and some tweaked elements. and that's when I gave up on Assassins Creed.
Same thing happened to Call of Duty. While Call of Duty has been able to keep it somewhat fresh in the multiplayer, delivering short but intense single player experiences, there is very little that differentiates one installment from another. In the case of Call of duty, I can condone it, since it's mostly played for the multiplayer (not by me as I rarely play multiplayer games) it needs that feeling of familiarity too it, so that the skills you learn in Modern Warfare can be transferable over to the next Black Ops
But in an action adventure game like the Assassins Creed series that people predominantly buy for the single player experience, there really is no good reason to keep pushing yearly titles, except for Ubisoft to make some more money. I don't care how much time Ubisoft claims they've put into their individual titles, They should know better than to give their fans basically the same game three times over as they did after AC2
What I'd like to see Activision and Ubisoft do with their franchises is to halt the yearly installment cycle that their are doing and rather focus on bringing some of the innovation back to their respective series. Activision could dedicate a small team to support Black Ops 2 with additional multiplayer content one more year, so that there's a bit more breathing room between the installments, Breathing room where they can focus on making the next game that much better
What do you guys think about yearly installments?