Assassin's Creed Is Netflix's Next Multimedia Franchise

Assassin’s Creed is making the leap from your game system to Netflix.
Assassin’s Creed is making the leap from your game system to Netflix.
Image: Ubisoft

After almost a dozen video games and one forgettable movie, Assassin’s Creed is leaping into a whole medium: streaming. Game company Ubisoft has partnered with Netflix to develop content based on the franchise, beginning with a live-action television adaptation.

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For more than 10 years, millions of fans around the world have helped shape the Assassin’s Creed brand into an iconic franchise,” Jason Altman, head of Ubisoft Film & Television, said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to create an Assassin’s Creed series with Netflix and we look forward to developing the next saga in the Assassin’s Creed universe.”

Assassin’s Creed debuted in 2007 and has remained one of the most popular video game franchises out there. It began as the story of a man, Desmond Miles, who uses technology to view and control the genetic memories of his ancestors in order to understand and study an ancient rivalry. Since then the story has evolved into adding new time periods, characters, twists, and turns—but almost always with that link between the technology of the future and period-feel of the past.

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In 2016, the franchise finally got its chance on the big screen in a film starring Michael Fassbender. Reviews were middling, though, and it didn’t live up to expectations despite turning a profit.

Moving that franchise now to Netflix feels like the next step. The Witcher series is thriving there, Resident Evil will be next, and now Assassin’s Creed. It’s almost as if the streamer is picking titles off a shelf at GameStop.

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” Peter Friedlander, Netflix’s Vice President, Original Series said. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

Ubisoft and Netflix are currently looking for a showrunner for Assassin’s Creed as well as exploring ideas that will be seen in live-action, animation, and anime.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

It’s a perfect series to do as an anthology - but they would do well to focus on the earlier entries’ mixture of “present time” and past to give it some gravitas and weight. “A conflict fought for millennia” means very little when it’s not grounded in what’s happening now... much like the later entries to the series.