Ubisoft Montreal is still the lead developer on the upcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, which we did an in-depth preview of not too long ago, but the studio is being buoyed by a surprising six other members of Ubisoft's stable, according to Edge's dialogue with lead game content manager Carsten Myhill.
Ubisoft Singapore, which is heavily responsible for the naval warfare elements of Assassin's Creed III, is understandably more heavily involved with the piratical Black Flag, while studios in Kiev and Quebec are also helping out with the single-player. Ubisoft Sofia, responsible for the Vita spinoff Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, will work on the modern day elements to Black Flag, while studios in Annecy and Bucharest will tag in for the multiplayer.
Wow. This piecemeal, quick turnaround development sounds like a logistical quagmire, but it's more unsettling to consider if this is the future of mainstream game development. I can't shake the old adage, "Too many cooks spoil the broth and if they're telecommuting twixt continents the kitchen will probably end up in flames." Or something to that effect.
I'm sure Ubisoft will be able to handle it, relatively speaking. "We've adopted this multi-studio approach now since Assassin's Creed II so it's a well-oiled setup that we have,a' Myhill said. Still, it's hard to wonder if the separation and disjointedness will hamper a directorial vision. Then again, the Assassin's Creed series, to me, has always seemed to be defined by a lack of cohesion and trying to do to many things at once and doing none of them well. Perhaps this will just be par for the course.