Assassin’s Creed Haptic Shirt Lets You Feel Getting Stabbed

The OWO Haptic Gaming System Assassin's Creed Mirage edition is shown next to a render of Basim.

Image: OWO / Ubisoft

Technology has not quite caught up to the Animus virtual reality tech of the Assassin’s Creed series that lets people experience the violent history of the franchise, but Ubisoft is trying to emulate the idea with a haptic feedback…shirt? It will make you feel “sensations” similar to the ones Assassin’s Creed: Mirage protagonist Basim will have when the game launches on October 12.

The OWO Haptic Gaming System is a teched-out shirt used in some VR setups to give players some physical feedback on their bodies that coincide with actions in a game. While Assassin’s Creed: Mirage isn’t a VR game, Ubisoft is partnering with the manufacturer to make an Assassin’s Creed-branded shirt that has the game’s logo and will be implementing haptic functionality with the game on all systems. According to the OWO website, the haptic feedback in the shirt will let you “feel your precise movements when you take down your targets.”


On the flip side, it sounds like you’ll “feel the consequences” of incoming attacks, as well. So I guess if you want the vibrated approximation of getting stabbed with a sword, this is for you.

As of this writing, the Assassin’s Creed version is not available to order, but the standard edition will run you 499€ (approximately $560 USD), and won’t show up for three months after you order it. It remains to be seen if the Assassin’s Creed shirt will cost more or less than the original version.

Assassin’s Creed: Mirage is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, and is scaling things down after games like Valhalla and Odyssey made a pretty strong pivot to open-world RPG. From the sound of it, Ubisoft is dumping a lot of resources back into the franchise, with over 800 developers shifting focus to it earlier this year.

Star Wars Outlaws Planets As Big As Early Assassin’s Creed Maps

I think everybody expected Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world Star Wars game, Star Wars: Outlaws, to be huge. That’s been the case with most of the publisher’s recent open-world games. But the developers behind Outlaws recently confirmed just how big it might be, explaining that planets in the game will be as big as multiple regions in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

In June, after rumors and teases, Ubisoft and in-house developers Massive Entertainment finally revealed its Star Wars: Outlaws, an open-world game set in that famous galaxy far, far away. In Outlaws, which takes place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, you’ll play as scoundrel and thief, Kay Vess. And because this is Star Wars, a franchise built on found family and ragtag groups coming together, you won’t be alone: you’ll have a cute alien sidekick and an (according to the internet) oddly sexy droid partner. While we still don’t know what the game’s actual narrative is, nor what you’ll be doing precisely, we do know that the galaxy in Outlaws is going to be very, very big. Although not stupidly big.

In an interview with Edge Magazine, Outlaws’ creative director Julian Gerighty compared the size of the game’s hand-crafted planets with areas in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, another Ubisoft open-world blockbuster.

“It’s a crude analogy, but the size of one planet might be [equivalent to] two of the zones in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey,” said Gerighty. “It could be two to three zones. But it’s not this sort of epic ‘the whole of England recreated’ approach.”

Now, depending on which zones you are referring to, this could mean the planets in Star Wars: Outlaws are pretty big, or even incredibly enormous, as some regions in Odyssey were small islands while others were giant chunks of ancient Greece. Based on what Gerighty told Edge, even a modest estimation would likely mean some planets in Star Wars: Outlaws are multiple times bigger than entire Assassin’s Creed games, like Syndicate or Unity.

How big are the planets in Star Wars: Outlaws?

When you compare the maps of those titles to the recent, open-world RPG entries in the AC series, you can see just how much bigger the locations have gotten over the years. For example, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s London map—a large and highly detailed playground—can fit easily inside a small corner of Assassin’s Creed Origins’ open world. In fact, you can fit a dozen copies of that world in Origins. And Origins’ map fits in Odyssey’s huge Greek open world with plenty of room to spare. So when talking about two or three regions from Odyssey, even just the medium-sized areas, we are dealing with some vast areas of digital land.

DG VFX / Ubisoft

Impressively, Gerighty also told Edge Magazine that all of the planets in Outlaws are handcrafted and not built using procedural generation, which is the opposite approach of how Bethesda is tackling the hundreds of worlds in its epic RPG, Starfield. That game uses procedural generation to help fill out its galaxy. In contrast, Gerighty says Massive and Ubisoft are taking a “handcrafted” and “manageable” approach to the open-world (or galaxy) in Outlaws. Of course, we don’t yet know how many worlds will be featured in Outlaws, though based on Gerighty’s comments, likely significantly less than the hundreds of planets in Starfield.

Of course, while giant, handcrafted Star Wars planets filled with exciting missions and places to explore sounds nice, I also already feel tired when trying to visualize these massive, Assassin’s-Creed-sized worlds. I really, really hope they aren’t covered in thousands of icons and symbols. I’d prefer some empty space, areas where you just travel through them and don’t stop and spend four hours checking off items from a never-ending list. One can hope, right? We have at least learned that you can’t just fly your ship and land anywhere, but rather at designated points on each planet, which suggests some hope of containment.

Star Wars: Outlaws doesn’t have a specific release date, but Ubisoft says it will be out in 2024 and will launch on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. So it will be 2025.

Assassin’s Creed Studio Axes Sequel To Breath Of The Wild-Like

Fenyx battles a cyclops.

Image: Ubisoft

The 2020 action-adventure game Immortals Fenyx Rising won’t be getting a sequel after all. Drawing clear inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the game seemed like the start of a fresh new franchise for Ubisoft, a company that’s struggled to ship new original hits. But a sequel has now been canceled internally as Assassin’s Creed studio Ubisoft Quebec shifts resources to other projects.

News of the cancellation was first reported by VGC and has since been independently corroborated by Kotaku’s sources. After initially declining to comment on “rumors and speculation,” Ubisoft backtracked and has now confirmed VGC’s report.

“As part of our global strategy, we are redirecting and reallocating some creative teams and resources within the Quebec studio to other unannounced projects,” a spokesperson for Ubisoft told VGC in a statement. “The expertise and technologies these teams developed will serve as an accelerator for the development of these key projects focused on our biggest brands. We have nothing further to share at this time.”

The first Immortals Fenyx Rising followed a young mortal hero as they rallied gods and legends from Greek mythology to take on the giant serpentine creature Typhon. The third-person action game featured lots of combat, puzzles, and open-world exploration. While clearly adapting many systems from modern open-world RPGs like sister-project Assassin’s Creedy Odyssey, its art style and vibrant mythological world added fresh twists that won over fans exhausted with the conventional Ubisoft map game.

It’s unclear why Ubisoft ultimately decided to shift resources away from the previously planned sequel. Ubisoft Quebec is also leading development on Assassin’s Creed Red, the next big open-world entry in the stealth series that will take place in Japan. Earlier this year, Ubisoft announced internal plans to double down on its biggest franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Tom Clancy as it faces its largest quarterly financial losses in company history. In May, Ubisoft revealed it would add another 800 developers to the Assassin’s Creed series even as it cuts staff and budgets elsewhere across its global chain of studios.


Next Assassin’s Creed Game Launching A Week Early

In recent years, Ubisoft has struggled to release games on schedule, with some titles like Skull & Bones being delayed over and over. But now, the company has announced something different. Instead of being delayed, it turns out Assassin’s Creed: Mirage will launch a week earlier than previously planned.

Assassin’s Creed: Mirage is the next entry in the long-running open-world stealth franchise. This time around players will take on the role of Basim Ibn Ishaq, an assassin first seen in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. In Mirage, players will get a chance to see how a younger Basim evolves from a street thief to a fully-fledged assassin. Ubisoft is promising that, unlike recent AC games, Mirage will be a smaller, more stealth-focused action game and less of a super large open-world RPG. That sounds great to me, someone who misses those sleeker, sneakier entries. And what also sounds good to me is that we won’t have to wait as long to get our hands on this Assassin’s Creed prequel.

Pre-order Assassin’s Creed: Mirage: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

On August 14, Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed: Mirage will launch across PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on October 5. The game was initially planned—after a delay in 2022—to be released on October 12. Ubisoft says that the game has now gone gold and will be ready for players a full week earlier than expected.

In an era where big, complicated video games are taking longer and longer to make and delays are becoming more and more common, this is a nice bit of news. Not just for Assassin’s Creed fans, who now get to play the upcoming game a week earlier than planned, but for anyone looking for a sign that perhaps not every big game that is completed and successfully ships has to do so on fire.

Of course that’s assuming Mirage launches in a respectable state and not filled with bizarre glitches, like the originally released version of Assassin’s Creed: Unity back in 2014. Either way, Assassin’s Creed: Mirage is now set to launch on October 5 across Xbox, PlayStation and PC. Perhaps one day Skull & Bones will release, too.

Pre-order Assassin’s Creed: Mirage: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop


Assassin’s Creed Mirage Could Be Great News For Old-School Fans

Previews for Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the thirteenth game in the Assassin’s Creed series and first since 2020’s Valhalla, released early on September 12, and they suggest a long-awaited return to the historical fiction series’ roots. That could come as good news—in the 16 years since the first Assassin’s Creed came out, the series has expanded well beyond the bounds of its original premise.

The initial game offered a pinpoint-focus on modern-day protagonist Desmond Miles and his stealthy quest to take down the blast-from-the-past Templars through assassinations and slow-burn stand-offs, but later installments were overcrowded with complicated plots, busy maps full of confusing icons, massive run-times, tons of side quests, and new gameplay features that included tower defense.

But from the stealth-heavy, streamlined gameplay the latest Mirage previews describe, it seems like players should prepare to flip up their cloth hood and wander back to the series’ beginning. Though you won’t be traveling too far back—Mirage also acts as a prequel to Valhalla. It centers that open-world game’s 9th century thief and mythological superhuman reincarnate, Basim Ibn Ishaq, as he and his knives traverse Baghdad.

But, like developer Ubisoft said it would earlier this year, Mirage keeps that story more “intimate” by being both shorter (you could finish it in about 20 hours) and more linear than Valhalla.

Pre-order Assassin’s Creed: Mirage: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Assassin’s Creed stealth is back in a big way

Early reactions, for the most part, seem to think that’s a good thing. After completing a training segment in which Basim becomes a Hidden One assassin, and then entering Mirage’s open-world, “I was told that there were new points of interest to check out,” Kris Holt writes for Engadget. “I immediately opened the map and was pleased to see there weren’t a million icons that threatened to pull me away from the main objectives. There were 15 or so, which feels far more palatable than the overwhelmingly busy maps I’ve seen in previous games.”

For IGN, Nick Maillet says Mirage “brings the social stealth history simulator back to its roots in the best way possible.” Though, it offers some leeway. The game “ensures that the ‘it’s stealth if no one is alive to tell about it’ method works, […] but that pure stealth is rewarded too,” says Joshua Duckworth for GameRant. Classic series mechanic Eagle Vision helped Duckworth “determine what we needed,” while side characters helped introduce “key concepts like throwing knives and the iconic Assassin’s Creed Leap of Faith.”

But Mirage’s combat is a little bare bones

Together, these elements form Mirage’s “extremely simple” combat system, Mike Mahardy writes for Polygon. “It looks flashy, don’t get me wrong,” he continued. “Basim dual-wields a sword and a dagger, giving him some bespoke choreography that we haven’t seen elsewhere in the series. But by and large, melee interactions came down to the same old attack, dodge, parry, counterattack, repeat routine that marked a litany of third-person games in the 2010s.”

And “what skills I did see in my preview session didn’t exactly get the blood pumping with excitement,” agreed Rock Paper Shotgun editor-in-chief Katharine Castle. “The Predator tree focuses on your eagle Enkidu, enhancing their ability to mark up guards and chests and the like, while the Trickster tree lets you carry extra tools and increases the number of potions you can carry. Inventory-based stuff, in other words.”

Still, it overall seems like Mirage’s “story and gameplay feel more like what made AC so popular in the first place,” IGN said. “Its new setting and social stealth-heavy gameplay mechanics feel like the series has finally realized what was promised back in 2007.”

Mirage might be a hard reset for Assassin’s Creed, a welcome change for a particularly distended franchise. It’s out on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows on October 5.

Pre-order Assassin’s Creed: Mirage: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop


Ex-Execs At Assassin’s Creed Publisher Arrested For Questioning

Three years after allegations of sexual misconduct inside Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft first surfaced, French authorities are moving ahead with a criminal investigation. Five former executives were detained for questioning on October 3, including former VP Tommy Francois, and CEO Yves Guillemot’s former right-hand head of creative, Serge Hascoët.

The arrests were first reported by the French newspaper Libération, and have been corroborated by Kotaku’s own sources. As part of the detentions, the former executives will give testimony to law enforcement that could be used in an eventual criminal trial. The high-profile action being taken regarding allegations that first came to light in 2020 follows a multi-year investigation involving interviews with over 50 current and former employees, Libération reports.

Hascoët, a 32-year veteran at Ubisoft, had long been in charge of the creative direction of games, franchises, and the company itself as its chief creative officer. Developers across the company were regularly required to present progress on their games to him and others at the publisher’s Paris headquarters, with his feedback determinging the life or death of a project, as well as whether minute gameplay features should be added or abandoned. François, a VP who reported to Hascoët, oversaw Ubisoft’s World Texture Facility (known as “WTF”), a massive database of artwork and onsite research from across the globe that teams relied on for inspiration in crafting the company’s biggest blockbusters like Far Cry and Ghost Recon.

Reports by Libération and Bloomberg accused both men of sexual misconduct and contributing to a misogynistic “boys club” mentality at the Paris office. Hasocet would allegeldy make sexual comments about employees and growl at them in a suggesetive manner during meetings, while François was accused of trying to forcibly kiss a female colleague at a work party while another male colleague held her from behind. Both men departed from the company in July 2020 right after the reports were published, but Ubisoft never confirmed if either one of them was actually fired.

While far from the only employees accused of sexual misconduct at the company, they were two of the most high-profile. In June 2021, the French union Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo, along with multiple victims, filed complaints with the Bobigny criminal court against the company as a whole as well as Guillemot and then head of human resources, Cecile Cornet, of “institutional harassment” for failing to maintain a safe work environment and, in some instances, allegedly looking the other way. According to Libération’s earlier report, Cornet told some staff at Ubisoft that “Yves [Guillemot] is OK with toxic management, as long as the results of these managers exceed their level of toxicity.”

Depending on the outcome of the interrogations, the former executives, including Hascoët, could be forced to present their testimony before a judge. It’s unclear if any current executives at the company, like Guillemot, have been questioned by police as part of the investigation so far. The company has mostly tried to turn the page on the workplace reckoning, and is currently preparing to release Assassin’s Creed Mirage on October 5, the first new game in the blockbuster franchise since 2020.

“Ubisoft has no knowledge of what has been shared and therefore can’t comment,” a spokesperson for the company told Kotaku.


34 Million People Have Played The Best Assassin’s Creed Ever

10 years ago, Ubisoft launched Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, an open-world pirate-themed RPG that set the stage for the modern iteration of the long-running series by revitalizing its open-world exploration and adding remarkable naval combat. And in that time, millions of people have played the game.

Read More: Assassin’s Creed IV Is Still Great
Buy Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Ubisoft took to X (formerly Twitter, or whatever Elon Musk will change the social media’s name to in the middle of the night) on October 29 to announce that over 34 million people have played Black Flag since its 2013 launch.

That’s a staggering number of players for any game, especially one that’s a decade old. But Black Flag has aged better than most. It puts you in the boots of the Welsh pirate-turned-assassin Edward Kenway as he explores early 17th-century Caribbean seas to unravel an ancient mystery.

While its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed III, gave you a ship to command, Black Flag expanded on the vessel’s limited use, with thrilling sea battles that allowed you to dodge cannon fire and board ships to sink them in the deep blue. It also improved on some of Assassin’s Creed III’s failings, such as allowing you to freely enter and exit your ship without waiting for a loading screen, while putting less of an emphasis on the modern-day storytelling so you can just stab people to your heart’s content. This was the first game in the series to explore piracy, which Ubisoft brought back and refined in 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which featured robust ship sailing and village pillaging mechanics.

In fact, it’s the ship steering that made Black Flag so revered. As former Kotaku staffer Luke Plunkett wrote in December 2017, this Assassin’s Creed game is great because of “how beautiful it was to simply sail over a calm sea at midnight,” and he ain’t wrong. Black Flag truly blew the door wide open on our expectations of what Assassin’s Creed could be thanks, in part, to the Jackdaw. Ubisoft’s worlds are typically huge, but Black Flag’s rendition of the Caribbean felt exceptionally massive with its connected waterways only traversable by sea. And the vastness of the ocean gave the game an eerie sense of isolation and intrigue, as you never knew what lurked in the distance in front of or below you. Ubisoft’s bloated design ethos may have fallen out of fashion, but Black Flag felt like lighting in a bottle.

Lots of folks reflected fondly on Black Flag to mark the occasion, many of them sharing their memories of the game in Ubisoft’s mentions. Black Flag ranks among the best Assassin’s Creed game to this day, and it nearly made the top of Kotaku’s very own ranked list.

Read More: Sources: Assassin’s Creed Publisher Remaking Black Flag, The Pirate One

While most folks were getting misty-eyed about Black Flag, a few were hoping Ubisoft would either drop a current-gen patch for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, or just straight-up remaster the game. Kotaku reported earlier this year that a Black Flag remake is in the works, but Ubisoft still hasn’t officially confirmed it. Let’s just hope it isn’t stuck in Davy Jones’ Locker the same way the still-MIA RPG Skull and Bones has been.

Ubisoft Using AI Assassin’s Creed Art Amid Cost Cutting

Happy Halloween! Ubisoft Netherlands invites you to celebrate the spooky festivities with AI-generated Assassin’s Creed art. Terrifying indeed!

People first began to notice some of Ubisoft’s social media channels posting what appeared to be AI-generated versions of Assassin’s Creed art last night. A smoothed over, off-brand Ezio emerged on the French publisher’s X (formerly known as Twitter) account for Latin America. “In other amazing industry news here’s an official Ubisoft account with 300K followers posting AI art,” tweeted Forbes contributor Paul Tassi. The publisher’s post was mocked for making Ezio look like a Fortnite character and for one character in the background wielding gun grips like knives. The tweet was deleted soon after.

Not to be outdone, however, the Ubisoft Netherlands account followed up with its own AI-looking Ezio art complete with Jack-o’-lanterns. “Which Ubisoft game is perfect for this horrible evening?” the account asked in Dutch. Clearly the one the Assassin’s Creed maker was playing with fans’ hearts.

Read More: AI Creating ‘Art’ Is An Ethical And Copyright Nightmare

Ubisoft recently revealed that over 1,000 people have left the company in the last year as part of its “cost reduction” program. Some of those departures were voluntary, but others included layoffs across customer support, marketing, and other departments in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere. “Ubisoft literally conducting layoffs this year and last month, and they’re posting AI art,” tweeted film concept artist Reid Southen. “Unbelievable. What the hell is the game industry doing right now.”

Still, over 19,000 people continue to work at Ubisoft, including many devoted just to the Assassin’s Creed franchise and all of its sequels, spin-offs, and other incarnations currently in the pipeline. Surely one of them could have made some art for the social media accounts. Or the company could have just used one of its many existing Ezio images. Anything would have been preferable to posting ugly AI-generated crap as thousands are laid off across the video game industry this year.

Fans have had to become increasingly vigilant in 2023 about companies trying to pass off AI-generated images in their marketing, as DALL-E 2, Midjourney, and other AI text-to-image models make it easier than ever to cobble together fake art. Amazon did it to promote its upcoming Fallout TV show. It sure seemed like Niantic did it to promote upcoming content in Pokémon Go. Legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki calling AI art tools “an insult to life itself” back in 2016 has never felt so prophetic.


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