Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was initially planned as DLC for Assassin’s Creed III, according to Ubisoft developers Jean Guesdon, Ashraf Ismail, and Darby McDevitt.
In an interview conducted by Ubisoft itself, it’s revealed that the original idea behind Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, according to Darby McDevitt, was to plan “a suite of DLCs [for Assassin’s Creed III] that would stretch from the late 1600s into the 1720s. The idea would be to start with Edward as a teenager under Henry Avery, and end somewhere around the days of Bartholomew Roberts. We figured four to six unique missions of about two hours each would tell a pretty comprehensive story.”
McDevitt goes on to mention that the team eventually realized that the entire idea was too grand and would be better as a standalone game. Thus, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was born, with Jean Guesdon stepping in as the game’s creative director after Alex Amancio’s surprise departure from Ubisoft.
“I’m very proud of the good balance we managed to find between a ‘traditional’ Assassin’s Creed game and a pirate game,” said Jean Guesdon.
“I am most proud of how we realized the life of this selfish pirate from the narration to the gameplay and the progression systems,” commented Ashraf Ismail, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag game director.
“My favorite times on [the game],” remarked Darby, “were the days where I simply wrote for hours and hours on end. Half the game I wrote at our Ubisoft offices, directly into our scriptwriting software. The other half I wrote in pen in a lined notebook, either at my kitchen table or at a bar called Elses’s just down the street from my apartment, with a beer at my elbow.”
The interview was conducted to celebrate the impending launch of Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection for the Nintendo Switch on December 6, 2019.
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