Assassin’s Creed’s history with PC tardiness is about as well-documented as the Templars’ involvement in history isn’t. Almost annually, the story is the same: Ubisoft is non-committal about a PC date, release gets close or close-ish, and then the publisher suddenly announces a delay of a few weeks. It’s nearly as much of a tradition as annual Assassin’s Creed releases themselves. But will it happen again this time, or has Ubisoft finally kicked its inexplicable (or at least thus far not well-explained) delay habit to the curb? Well, if nothing else everything’s going according to plan so far. Ubisoft told me that it’s trying really hard for a simultaneous release of Assassin’s Creed Unity.
“We’re always aiming to ship all our games on all platforms at the same time,” producer Lesley Phord-Toy told RPS. “I don’t have any specific news on the PC version of Assassin’s Creed Unity, but I do know we’re planning on shipping on all three [platforms]: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. I haven’t heard any news differently than that.”
I asked why PC delays are so prevalent for the series, and Phord-Toy gave her perspective from being producer on Assassin’s Creed IV’s PC version, specifically.
“It can be challenging,” she said. “PC has a variety of different hardware configurations that you can’t necessarily predict. On a console you know what’s in the box. Every customer has the same configuration for the most part, and first-parties push firmware updates so everyone has what you’re expecting to have. PCs are nowhere near as consistent. So it can be extremely challenging to try and support as many of those permutations as possible.”
Granted, those issues don’t often drive other publishers to last-second delays (anymore), so it’s kind of a puzzling response. That said, Phord-Toy also spoke of Ubisoft’s new commitment to bolstering its PC support teams so that any early issues can be squashed quickly. Can’t knock Ubisoft for that. She then concluded hopefully:
“Like I said, Ubi has been very successful at achieving same-ship in the recent past, so we’re very confident that we’ll be able to do the same for Assassin’s Creed Unity.”
Granted, that doesn’t mean a whole lot until something actually happens to wash the bitter taste of Ubidelays and Uplay outages out of our mouths, but it’s not like being upset at Ubisoft is fun. I very much hope they get the issues in order so we can properly enjoy their games. They make some cool stuff from time-to-time. I just wish they’d make it, you know, better. And maybe also get their priorities in order, but that’s another (series of) stories.