Next Assassin’s Creed to feature online multiplayer

In a financial update today, Ubisoft has revealed that “a new episode of Assassin’s Creed” will be released in the companies 2010-11 fiscal year (which runs from April 2010 through March 2011). The kicker — it will be the first game in the series to feature an online multiplayer mode.

An Assassin’s Creed follow up isn’t surprising — Ubisoft is expecting that the game will “reach 9 million sell-in units by the end of March 2010.” The report also states that sales of the sequel were 40% higher than the original, which (according to the publisher) demonstrates Ubisoft’s “capacity for success in the high-end games market.” As a result, expect a greater focus on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles in the company’s 2010-2011 line-up.

But back to this multiplayer thing. Wait… really? I must admit, I’m not exactly sure how that will pan out. While it could be interesting to explore the game’s huge cities with a friend (perhaps a Desmond/Lucy combo), there is something to be said about the solitary experience of the first two games. It’s almost relaxing, in a way. Or is Ubisoft thinking more along the lines of competitive modes?

Surely we won’t hear more about the next installment of Assassin’s Creed until at least E3, so in the meantime, let your speculation begin.

Nick Chester