Long-time Assassin’s Creed art director Raphael Lacoste announced today that he’s leaving Ubisoft after almost two decades with the company. This would be a perfectly normal departure, but for the fact that Ubisoft is currently planning to take the Assassin’s Creed series in a new direction with the Infinity project. Whether these two facts are related or not, the series is losing a key member of its design team who’s been partially responsible for its atmosphere.
In case you doubt just how long Lacoste has been with the company, he worked on the very first Assassin’s Creed game, and he said he’s only leaving after “eight Assassins.” Judging by his portfolio, these Assassins include Altair, Edward Kenway, Bayek, and Eivor, among others. If nothing else, we can thank Lacoste, in large part, for the look and style of the Assassin’s Creed series. You can view some of his art from the series and other projects on his website.
There’s no way to know for sure, but Lacoste’s departure is happening at the same time Ubisoft is consolidating some of its studios, pooling their talents to work on a future game called Assassin’s Creed Infinity, which will be a live service game that will add smaller versions of the games onto a single shared world platform. Given that Lacoste is one of a handful of Ubisoft employees — specifically ones who have worked on the Assassin’s Creed franchise — that have left in the last few months.
But that’s just speculation — there’s nothing about Lacoste’s move that suggests behind-the-scenes drama. Lacoste called Ubisoft “a nice home for me for 16 years” and said he was ready to take a leap and make a move to new projects. He added, “I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart our wonderful community and the incredible talents I’ve had the chance to collaborate with, over these amazing years.”
Source: Raphael Lacoste/Twitter