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Désilets: 1666 "was to be the new Assassin's Creed"

Inspired by Rembrandt.

1666, the now on-hold project from Assassin's Creed co-creator Patrice Désilets, was being designed to make as big an impact as Ubisoft's annual blockbuster.

Désilets had already put in over a year's work on the game, first at THQ Montreal and then for several months at Ubisoft after the publisher acquired the studio. He left the company under acrimonious circumstances in May.

Rembrandt's Philosopher in Meditation.

"It was to be the new Assassin's Creed," explained to GameReactor Spain (translated by Gameranx). "The first year was to build the team, to study [the historical era], but also to create a new IP."

Désilets had been focusing heavily on the game's mechanics, which he suggested weren't anything like Assassin's Creed.

"It was not easy because I was not making a little guy jumping around with swords, and I was not making a shooter. I was trying something different again, to push the boundaries."

1666's story would have been finalised later, Désilets continued, hinting at an inspiration for the game. As in Assassin's Creed, the player had the potential to brush paths with at least one famous historical figure.

"Rembrandt was still alive in 1666, died in 1669. I took one of his most famous paintings, The Philosopher, and put it in the design documents - so I referred to this matter, more or less."

And there Désilets' work on the game concluded. The project is now officially "on hold" within Ubisoft, and Désilets is fighting to regain control of the IP.

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1666: Amsterdam

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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.