Content of the article: "To all the people who keep complaining that the modern-day should be removed, it’s been tried already"
A bit from Odyssey producer Marc-Alexis Côté from Stephen Totilo on why the modern-day came back in Origins and Odyssey (and Valhalla):
Here’s another choice that the designers of Odyssey and other recent Assassin’s Creed games wrestled with: whether to include playable sequences in modern day. While the bulk of every Assassin’s Creed game has occurred in a historical setting, all have included sequences set in modern day. From the start, they were divisive. Modern-era gameplay tended to involve walking, talking, and maybe climbing around in a few rooms. None of it was nearly as exciting, dynamic or, presumably, as marketable as the parts of the games set in the Crusades, the Renaissance, or the American revolution. Some people (hello!) dug it. Others wanted it gone.
By 2014’s Assassin’s Creed Unity and 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the modern-day material had been reduced to several minutes of cutscenes, with nothing playable. Dumont and Côté’s hoped the approach they took with Syndicate would work: “ Quite honestly and transparently, we were like, ‘OK, people don’t seem to like the gameplay, but they like the lore, so we tried to just give them lore,’” Côté said. It wasn’t very satisfying. “I think the fans wanted to kill me on Twitter and Reddit,” he recalled. Côté credits the resurgence of modern-day sequences in the series to fans’ requests.
In 2017, Assassin’s Creed Origins brought modern-day gameplay back with a new playable character named Layla Hassan. Her role was expanded in Odyssey, though mostly in the game’s second episodic expansion, which still has one chapter to go. “Layla’s story is going to progress quite a bit
,” Dumont said. He noted that they’d primarily explored her story, the Isu, and other extended parts of the Assassin’s Creed lore and universe in the game’s expansions, which have a more hardcore audience. “Some people like it, and some people don’t want it in the main game,” he said. “It’s tough to balance that act, but I think with the DLC we’re addressing more core fans.”
They already tried what you wanted, it didn't work. Additionally, Syndicate didn't sell well for a variety of reasons, but among them was anger about the modern-day. Core fans want the modern-day. That's why Origins through Valhalla have progressively more and more modern-day.
Ubisoft has analytics and knows how much engagement there is. They know who buys every game and who doesn't. They probably know what percent of Layla's files you've accessed. Most of the core base of fans likes it. Even if there is a dull setting, modern-day fans are more likely to still buy the games. That is not the case for the more casual fans who are more likely to not like it.
If you are a non-MD fan who doesn't care for Vikings or the Dark Ages, you have no reason to buy Valhalla. If you are an MD fan who doesn't care for Vikings or the Dark Ages, you DO have a reason to buy Valhalla. (Also, the same with Rogue and the North Atlantic)
Saying you want the MD removed is saying you want AC to end. The modern-day is around because core fans want it. You take away the core and the series fails. Asking for it to be removed is like a PlayStation fanperson whining that an Xbox fanperson gets to have an Xbox (or vice-versa).
Instead of complaining that it exists, give constructive criticism on how to make it better. It's not going anywhere.
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