The Assassin’s Creed Syndicate panel at San Diego Comic-Con served as the stage for Ubisoft to unveil a new, animated short film based on the latest game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. The animated short, titled The Syndicate, gave fans a closer look at the game’s Victorian-era London setting and its twin protagonists, Jacob and Evie Frye. The Syndicate‘s story was penned and directed by award-winning Director F. Gary Gray, who may be best known for his biopic Straight Outta Compton, and illustrated by LucasFilm Certified comic book artist Pop Mhan.
For those who were unable to attend SDCC 2015, the team behind the animated short also published a behind-the-scenes video on YouTube to show fans how the creative endeavor came into being.
It is not the first time Comic-Con goers were treated to an Assassin’s Creed animated short world premiere. Last year, Assassin’s Creed Unity received an animated short of its own. This year, excitement surrounding the franchise has been met with a bit of skepticism since Assassin’s Creed fell from its previous good graces with the general gaming community after Unity’s bug-laden launch. Ubisoft acknowledged the mistakes made, offering Unity players free downloadable content as compensation along with their sincerest apologies for the disappointment.
Sales of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will be a telling sign if the franchise can recover from Unity‘s misstep. If pre-orders are any indication, consumers have yet to be wooed. According to VG Chartz, as of June 27, 2015, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate garnered just over 26,300 pre-orders on PlayStation 4 in the United States. By comparison, at about the same time last year, Assassin’s Creed Unity had more than 53,000 pre-orders on the PlayStation 4 and more than 32,700 pre-orders on the Xbox One. To entice gamers at Comic-Con to throw down their hard-earned money for an Assassin’s Creed Syndicate pre-order, Ubisoft offered a show exclusive pre-order bonus called The Rooks Initiation Kit.
What may be more encouraging to some fans than a pre-order bonus was news that Ubisoft arranged to test Syndicate behind closed doors during the convention. Shortly before the show, Ubisoft put out a call for fans to playtest Syndicate at the Assassin’s Creed Playtest Roadshow. It was a unique opportunity for seasoned gamers familiar with the franchise to play an in-development version of the game and deliver feedback directly to the development team.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is scheduled for release in North America on October 23, 2015 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A PC version is not yet street dated but anticipated for a fall 2015 release.
[Images courtesy Ubisoft]