Today, Ubisoft announced collaborations with a host of acclaimed publishers, talented authors, and illustrators to continue expanding the Assassin’s Creed Universe to new forms of media. Assassin’s Creed fans worldwide can find out more about the various stories springing from their favorite franchise by visiting the new website detailing the publishing line for 2021 and beyond here.
With the upcoming launches of new novels, graphic novels, manhuas, webtoons, and more recently, a series of podcasts, the Assassin’s Creed narrative is expanding across all formats: novels, illustrated fiction, and digital works. “With a license as rich as Assassin’s Creed, many creators are excited to offer their vision of the franchise!” explained Aymar Azaïzia, Transmedia Director at Ubisoft Montreal. “It’s a great creative opportunity to publish a work that is relevant to the genre in question and produced by authors or illustrators who are recognized in their field.”
Ubisoft is currently working with a large network of publishing partners, each bringing their own expertise, to develop the Assassin’s Creed universe further. Aconyte Books, Editis, and Starfish are developing original novels in their respective languages (English, French, and Chinese). On the comics and graphic novels front, Glenat will publish original French graphic novels, while Dark Horse Comics has released an Assassin’s Creed comics mini-series in English, and Ulab has developed original manhuas. On the digital side, Chinese partner Ximalaya is about to launch its first Assassin’s Creed narrative podcast, while Korean studio Redice will produce the first Assassin’s Creed webtoon.
To better classify the wide range of existing and upcoming Assassin’s Creed transmedia offerings, Ubisoft is creating three labels that will help fans to choose their next read:
Classics: direct adaptations based on stories from the video games
Chronicles: new adventures featuring favorite iconic Assassins
Originals: new narratives featuring new protagonists and time periods
Some of the newest transmedia creations this year come from collaborations with talented Asian authors and artists, notably in China, Japan, and Korea, with several manhuas or webtoons currently in development. “With so many creators from all over Asia delivering innovative content, a priority for Ubisoft has been to forge new relationships with talented partners in the region,” highlighted Julien Fabre, Associate Director of Publishing at Ubisoft.
By bringing talents from all other the world to craft new transmedia narratives, Ubisoft aims to enrich the Assassin’s Creed universe with authentic stories and that resonate with local fans. “We are all consumers of stories. With this global vision and local approach, we seek to offer our fans new content in formats they are familiar with, and with stories that are rooted in their cultural background and their history,” adds Etienne Bouvier, Publishing Content Manager at Ubisoft.
Here is a selection of the new releases slated for this year:
ASSASSIN’S CREED FRAGMENTS YOUNG ADULT TRILOGY (ORIGINALS): Fragments is a new young adult book series developed in partnership with the French publishing house Editis. This action-adventure historical fiction saga will feature teens caught up in the centuries-old Assassin-Templar feud and explore the nature of the relationship between the siblings. Each book in the series will take readers to a different time period and location, with new protagonists. The first volume is set in 19th Century Japan, the second in 13th Century Scotland, and the third in 17th Century France.
ASSASSIN’S CREED THE JADE SEAL COLLECTION (ORIGINALS): From the Zhou Dynasty (4th Century BC) to the Ming Dynasty (17th Century), this collection expands our franchise through a range of ten novels exploring Chinese history at large. Emperors, courtiers, legendary martial artists, poets, philosophers, and many other important figures from Chinese history will play their part in this multi-secular fight. New Assassins, but also new archenemies, will join the ranks of our franchise from these epic novels written by six well-known Chinese writers and soon to be available in China.
ASSASSIN’S CREED THE MING STORM (CHRONICLES): Written by best-selling Chinese author Yan Leisheng, this novel is the start of an action-packed trilogy set in the 16th century China featuring Shao Jun, a young Assassin and already a fan favorite from the franchise as the main protagonist of the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China video game. Aconyte Books, Ubisoft’s key partner for English prose novels, will publish the Ming Storm in the US and Canada on June 1, 2021. More exciting new novels, including a trilogy of books set in the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla universe, are to be released by Aconyte Books in 2022.
ASSASSIN’S CREED DYNASTY (MANHUA) (ORIGINALS): First launched as a webcomic in China by local development partner ULAB, Assassin’s Creed Dynasty has already garnered more than 150 million views online and ranked top 3 of the Wuxia genre on the Tencent platform. It will soon be available in other territories in paperback. Readers will be able to follow the adventures of Li E, an Assassin trying to save the Tang Dynasty from a civil war. TOKYOPOP will be publishing Assassin’s Creed Dynasty in the USA and Canada, with Volume 1 releasing on September 1, 2021, as an ebook and on January 11, 2022, as a print paperback.
ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA: BLOOD BROTHERS (MANHUA) (CHRONICLES): Fans will soon be able to discover the epic tale of two brave Viking brothers in this manhua set in the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, not long before the exploits of Eivor the Wolf-Kissed. TOKYOPOP will be publishing the title in the USA and Canada on June 28, 2021, for the ebook and on August 10. 2021 for the print edition.
A sampling of both TOKYOPOP Assassin’s Creed titles will also be available as a combined Free Comic Book Day 2021 Gold Title at the Diamond Comics annual Free Comic Book Day event that takes place on Saturday, August 14 this year at participating comic shops around North America.
ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA FRENCH GRAPHIC NOVEL (CHRONICLES): Glénat Editions will release this original graphic novel in Fall 2021 in France. Readers will discover the tale of an aspiring Assassin and a Christian monk as they set out on a quest that will take them from Ravensthorpe to the mystery-filled heights of Scotland.
ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA: SONG OF GLORY (CHRONICLES): The comic series, released in single issues last year by Dark Horse comics in the USA and Canada, is launching on April 21, 2021, as a collected hardcover edition. In this prequel to the game, fearless Vikings Eivor and Sigurd embark on separate adventures to show their mettle and seek glory.
ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLADE OF SHAO JUN (CHRONICLES): This manga, based on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China video game and featuring the iconic Assassin Shao Jun, is published by Viz Media in the USA and Canada. The second volume in the series will be released on August 17, 2021. Readers will also discover a new modern-day plot through the story of Lisa, a teenager who falls into a trap set by Abstergo, the modern incarnation of the Templar Order.
ASSASSIN’S CREED TURBULENCE IN THE MING DYNASTY PODCAST (CHRONICLES): Developed and broadcasted by China’s leading podcast platform Ximalaya, this audio adaptation of the Ming Dynasty novel is voiced by a first-rate cast from the Chinese film industry, including Liu Yan as Shao Jun. Enriched with audio FX and a moving score, this podcast is the perfect format to become fully immersed in China during 16th Century Ming Dynasty.
WEBTOON (ORIGINALS): This Korean webtoon will serve as a sequel to Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and expand Edward Kenway’s storyline. It is currently in development with partner Redice.
Stay tuned for more information on stories from the Assassin’s Creed Universe!
Kerri is a disabled assistant editor and news writer for BWT. She is motivated by her love of words, commas, comics, and all things geeky