Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s sales have been less than stellar since its launch. Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez believes it’s due to the glitchy launch of Unity.
The game’s sales have little to do with its performance, which showed a slight edge on the PS4, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. Syndicate seems to run equally well on both current consoles.
Sales have shown to be less than impressive, though. Martinez believes that it may simply be the same thing that happened to Black Flag. Though now considered one of the best games in the series, it followed the generally disappointing release of AC III. While Assassin’s Creed III had one of the biggest twists in the series’ history, it also had some of the most lackluster gameplay. Hunting seemed more of a chore with no real payoff, and the naval battles were minimalistic and difficult to get through.
Black Flag improved on the whole formula, making the idea of hunting more of a pastime with greater relevance to your progress. The naval warfare was also made fun enough that gamers didn’t mind being out on the water for hours.
The Assassin’s Creed Syndicate sales seem to be mirroring those of Black Flag, which initially launched at 50 percent of what AC III had done, according to Gamasutra.
Alain Martinez explained, “Black Flag was 50 percent below Assassin’s Creed III in its first week. At the end of the year it was close to III, and after two years it was way above III.”
This could also be attributed to Black Friday sales, which had listed Black Flag at half price if you caught it on the right day on Amazon.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot believes the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate sales could see a rise after word of mouth spreads, saying, “[Word] of mouth has been very positive, and we’re seeing trends that are closer to what happened with Black Flag.”
Though AC III was still playable on its own, it hadn’t launched with the same glitches that Unity has become known for. In some cases, the cut scenes would load without characters’ faces, reminding many of the aliens from Mars Attacks!. In other cases, Arno would simply get stuck on nothing and refuse to move past some invisible obstacle.
Technically, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been plagued with similar gameplay glitches for a long time. Sometimes you would be pressing “up” to climb and the character would just hang there, as though there was no way up. Sometimes you could be simply moving along the rooftops and get stuck on an edge which should have been easily passable. Unity was a “rebuilt” game, and the franchise’s gameplay glitches were actually worse. It’s no mystery why the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate sales in the first week have been lacking, though according to GameSpot, the sales have increased since.
— MCV (@MCVonline) November 5, 2015
Gamers have been burned before, and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s sales are an indication that we won’t be so easily won back.
Syndicate could also come back and be a bestseller. With the game being based in London with likeable protagonists Jacob and Evie Frye, and the new grapple and rope launcher dynamic introducing a way around the usual parkour, the game could do the same thing Black Flag did.
However, there is also the idea that Ubisoft may have simply taken its new gameplay mechanics from games we would likely rather be playing, such as Grand Theft Auto V and Batman: Arkham Knight. Gamers have also stated across social media that the Assassin’s Creed games have been the same thing over and over, and they’re simply tired of running around and stabbing targets every year.
What do you think? Could the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate sales mirror those of Black Flag, or does Ubisoft need to try something even more different next time?
[Image via Ubisoft]