The next Assassin's Creed games will see a far greater leap in advancement for next-gen consoles, developer Ubisoft has said.
"I think 'next' next-gen is going to be for the next games," lead game designer Jean-Sebastien Decant told Gamereactor. "The next games are going to be much more on the next-gen side. This one is really on the edge."
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is a cross-generational release with only minor graphical improvements on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
This was due to the fact both next-gen consoles' technical specifications were still unknown when the project was begun.
"When you start and you don't even know the specs or what they are going to do you don't think about that [next-gen consoles] or you're going to be sick," Decant explained.
"We thought about next-gen graphics and in order to explore that we used the high-end PCs on the side, and then we continued just what we started with the previous games and built upon that."
This is a good thing - despite introducing an enjoyable open world naval section to Assassin's Creed 4, the series' land-based missions are feeling increasingly tired.
"We cannot tell you that we're happy and this is how we want the game to be and we're going to do ten more games with exactly that same gameplay," Decant argued. "No, we are unhappy. We want to do more. There are lots of things we want to refine on the combat side, on the parkour, on the stealth."
Beyond gameplay refinements, Decant hinted at broader changes for the franchise that next-gen may bring - namely the evolution of social features within the series' worlds.
"I think we're going toward a gaming place where the open world will be shared with other players. More and more. Socially speaking, but also maybe multiplayer stuff. And we will have to consider the open world much more like a platform that we could sustain for years," he concluded.
Black Flag includes a number of hints at possible Assassin's Creed 5 locations. Ubisoft usually announces its next title in the series each spring for release the following November.