Fortune video game writer John Gaudiosi reported today that the latest Assassin's Creed franchise entry, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, is expected to sell 8 million copies.
The number comes from video game analyst for Wedbush Securities Michael Pachter, who said "I think Assassin's Creed is successful because of its novelty. It's a third-person adventure game with a pretty easy-to-learn fighting style, the historical setting is novel, and the role-playing game features make it an interesting hybrid. That gives it something for everyone."
Peter Warman, the founder of video game research firm Newzoo, said of the demographics that "The Assassin's Creed franchise is one of the biggest console/PC franchises around with sales of over 57 million copies through retail... At least 50 million Americans and 40 million Europeans still play an Assassin's Creed game from time to time. The pirate theme will appeal to the younger demographic that Ubisoft attracts with this franchise. Fifty-one percent of Assassin's Creed players are under 35, compared to 44% of Activision's Call of Duty players."
In case you haven't already heard, the game casts players in the role of a pirate with Assassin's roots throughout the years 1713 to 1722, a period rich with famous pirates. "Players will be able to interact and play with the most infamous pirates of all time," said Ubisoft creative director Jean Guesdon.
Assassin's Creed's fiction has leaped and bounded throughout history, permitting players to interact across time with historical figures of immense gravitas, including Richard the Lionheart and Leonardo da Vinci. Assassin's Creed III had placed players at the helm of both the American Revolution and a brand new Privateer sailing mode.
Assassin's Creed has been a particularly unique series for its ability to contain stories that interweave between the modern day and the distant past. Guesdon: "This [storyline] allows us to connect any time period we want to explore into a cohesive and persistent transmedia universe. This is how we can switch between different time periods and historical events without creating a new world every time."
As for the release, the wide-open world is expected to keep players busy well into the release of the game's first DLC package. The series' co-creator Jade Raymond is reported to be working on another story, and a movie based on the first game is in development.[Image via Ubisoft]