Ubisoft has revealed that the original Assassin’s Creed released back in 2007 once featured co-op but was later removed due to engine and storyline difficulties.
Mission Director Philippe Bergeron recently spoke to OXM and mentioned that the original instalment did in fact feature an “ambitious” co-op mode set across the Third Crusade.
“Before we knew about the Desmond story and Animus link, we had a huge co-op component in there,” says Bergeron. “[but] it just became too hard to do: the engine couldn’t support it, and then the metaphor [co-op mode set across the Third Crusade] didn’t support it.
The developers felt that once the idea became more about Desmond and the Animus, a co-op component just wasn't logical anymore.
“For us it was really part of the single player experience,” says Bergeron. "There was no way to reconcile having multiplayer or co-op in an ancestor's memories. Your ancestor lived his life in a certain way, so assuming you had branching storylines, it creates a paradox. It didn’t fit.”
Multiplayer has been a prominent component of all subsequent games within the series but integrated co-op is still lacking.
Assassin’s Creed III DLC: Tyranny of King Washington is scheduled for release on February 19