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The Assassin's Creed franchise is a long and storied one, with many games that engender a wide variety of opinions. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, however, has always seemed to be the one that pretty much every single fan can agree on as being really quite brilliant.
Released back in 2013 in the twilight of the PS3/Xbox 360 era, Black Flag breathed new life into the tired Assassin's Creed open-world formula by casting players as a daring pirate tasked with plundering the seas for loot and adventure. The naval combat and exploration in Black Flag was a revelation, as was protagonist Edward Kenway. While not quite as popular as Assassin's Creed II star Ezio Auditore, Kenway's cheeky pirate charm usually sees him at the top of many a favourite assassin lists.
All that to say it's a damn shame that we haven't heard from Kenway for the better part of the last decade. While we would frequently check back in on the likes of Ezio and Altair, more recent protagonists are frequently one and done. A pity, given the amount of love for Kenway and his world.
The good news is that everybody's favourite pirate-turned-assassin will be returning in a sequel - just not in the way we were expecting. Eurogamer recently sat down with two of Assassin's Creed "loremasters" for an interview that touched on some of the many, many multimedia projects Ubisoft has planned for the franchise. Among them, it seems Black Flag is getting a sequel in the form of an animated series.
Speaking to Ubisoft publishing content manager Etienne Bouvier and transmedia director Aymar Azaïzia, Eurogamer learned that the publisher is developing a "webtoon series set to feature Black Flag star Edward Kenway". Details on the project are extremely thin right now, but it sounds as if Kenway will be venturing east to explore new seas.
"The webtoon we're currently developing, animating in Korea - it was going to be a project like that where we re-used a [specific] character," said Azaïzia. And then we had a talk about Black Flag and potential novels or DLCs we never used or tapped into where we could see Edward going somewhere else - maybe not staying in the same seas, maybe going East... 'That could be super interesting. We never told this story, what about pitching that?'
"So we decided to go with Assassin's Creed IV- we haven't written anything yet, we know exactly what we want to do but we're still in the process of creating. But that's exactly how it came to be - we explored different characters, different things we wanted to do in the franchise, and what would work in a specific format - animated pirates! amazing! - that opened specific doors."
While undoubtedly the most exciting for Black Flag fans, this isn't all Ubisoft has planned for Assassin's Creed in the next few years. You should absolutely read Eurogamer's wonderful interview for more details on upcoming projects, including books, comics, brand-new assassins, the Netflix shows, and plenty more besides.