Assassin's will be as big as GTA Ubi

"In the not-too-distant future."

Stab-'em-up series Assassin's Creed will be as big as Grand Theft Auto "in the not-too-distant future", Ubisoft reckons.

"To be honest, I'm not sure we're there yet," UK marketing boss Murray Pannell told Eurogamer when asked whether Assassin's Creed will be as big as GTA.

"But I don't see any reason why we shouldn't get there at some point in the not-too-distant future. That's about longevity and building decent products, properly marketed, and getting the name out there.

"I believe with the success of Assassin's 2 we have now got an opportunity to position ourselves as one of the true triple-A blockbusters. Are we as big as things like GTA and Halo and things of that nature? Possibly not at this point. But I think we are uniquely poised now as a property, as a franchise, to certainly consider ourselves one of the must-have games whenever a game launches on Assassin's Creed in the franchise."

While Assassin's Creed is a phenomenally successful series, it still has some way to go before it matches Grand Theft Auto's spectacular sales and mainstream appeal.

In May Ubisoft said Assassin's Creed II sold "nearly nine million units" during its last financial year, which ended on 31st March 2010.

In March Take Two revealed that GTAIV had sold over 15 million units worldwide.

Pannell said Ubisoft will grow Assassin's Creed through continued critical success and aggressive advertising.

He said: "It's fair to say Assassin's 1 promised a lot and slightly under-delivered in terms of gameplay. Assassin's 2 promised even more and actually this time delivered on it. And I believe quality of the game will be a fundamental part of positioning ourselves in that blockbuster franchise space.

"As marketing director, it's part of our role and responsibility to position it from a consumer point of view as one of those big blockbusters through decent marketing campaigns. One thing we've been doing already is advertising Assassin's: Brotherhood on TV this summer, three or four months before launch. That only helps position it in consumers' minds as, 'This is a big game I need to consider as one of the true blockbuster franchises'."

Pannell expects Brotherhood, due out in November this year, to sell more copies than Assassin's Creed 2.

"In terms of expectations, people should certainly see this as a full price product with as much depth of gameplay if not more than the version we brought out a year ago. We're certainly positioning it that way. We're investing in the product in that way. And in terms of our expectations from a sales point of view, we'd see it doing at least as well as Assassin's 2, if not, ideally, better."

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