Assassin's Creed is many different things to many different people. For some, it's a high-octance action-adventure that whisks players through a twist-laden, series-spanning plot. For others, it's a glitchy, nonsensical mess of a franchise that lost most of its identity years ago. Whichever way your opinion tends to lean, it's hard to deny that Assassin's Creed is one of the biggest franchises in gaming.
A lot of this is because of just how many Assassin's Creed games are being made: Ubisoft has been pushing out a new sequel once a year ever since 2009's Assassin's Creed II. Considering how big the games are, that's an insane schedule to try and maintain — and there are plenty of people who claim that said schedule is the reason for the less-than-stellar games of the past few years.
If the latest rumors are true, Ubisoft may have finally realized that such a schedule just isn't realistic anymore. According to reports from Kotaku and various message boards, the next game in the series — tentatively titled Assassin's Creed Empire — may be skipping 2016 entirely.
Remember, these are all rumors: until Ubisoft releases an official statement, nothing has been confirmed one way or the other.
According to Kotaku's sources, Assassin's Creed Empire will be set in ancient Egypt — and, more important, will likely be delayed until 2017. These rumors were backed up by a number of different posts online (which can be found here), and they all say the same thing: no Assassin's Creed in 2016.
So, why would Ubisoft want to delay its premier franchise? The answer is pretty obvious for anyone who's kept up with the series: Assassin's Creed Unity.
Ubisoft's 2014 entry was an absolute mess of a game: not only did it feature one of the most forgettable plots and protagonists in series history, but actually playing the thing meant fighting against a never-ending onslaught of game-breaking glitches. Compared with previous games (namely Black Flag, which came out the year prior), Unity felt like a shell of a game. Last year's game, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, did manage to fix a number of Unity's problems ... but it was evident that there was still a lot of work to be done before the series got back on track.
As for Assassin's Creed's replacement, rumors suggest that Ubisoft will be relying on Watch Dogs 2 to fill in the gap alongside the new Assassin's Creed movie. On top of all that, Ubisoft has more than a few games scheduled for release in 2016 (most of which look awesome), so it's safe to say that the absence of Assassin's Creed won't tear the whole company down.
Plus, if it means that Assassin's Creed Empire can bring the series back to its glory days, who's to say a delay isn't worth it?
We'll continue to update this story as more information becomes available.