Interview: ‘Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey’ Narrative Director Melissa MacCoubrey on Choosing the Setting, DLC’s & More

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey was unleashed upon the gaming community on October 5th, 2018. Since then, the game has been enjoying great success, as it currently holds a Metacritic average of 86 on all three platforms on which it was released. Seeing as there is no game in the series planning on being released in 2019, AC: Odyssey will presumably supported for the next year onward.

As celebrated as this game is, it was worked on for a lengthy amount of time by a dedicated staff. We at Talkies Network were lucky enough to sit down with the narrative director for this ancient Greek epic, Melissa MacCoubrey. We discussed the narrative direction of the game, as well the planning behind the project. It was a lot of fun, and here’s how it went:

How was Ancient Greece chosen as the setting for the game?

“There was a lot of decision making and a lot of people involved in that decision making. We always look at a variety of settings, and even just looking at Greece, when we would set it, what the world was doing at this point that was exciting, who is alive, how many people are alive, how much research we have. Looking at where we wanted to go with this game, with choice and making it an open world RPG, Greece was the way to go.”

The game is called Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. What sort of influence were taken from classic Greek tales?

“Of course it was a huge inspiration not only from the content but from the way its paced. We also looked at, looking at an epic, making an epic. It is very challenging to make a story that lasts as long as it does. It goes through all these different environments, and you meet all these people, and all these emotional moments, where reading epics actually helps. On that level, [epics] were a huge inspiration, but there are definitely references to the Odyssey that are built upon in the game, in the first hour there’s even Ithaca where Odysseus is from, so there’s a little nod to that. Going beyond the game and into the post-launch, we’re also taking inspiration from the Odyssey as well.”

Since Assassin’s Creed 3, there’s been a multiplayer component. Recently, it seems as though the studio is shying away from it and focusing on only the single-player experience. Why is that the case?

“It’s funny that you say only because this was a huge project. We wanted to make sure we do what we set out to do and do it well. And given the 3 years we had, given the fact that we were incorporating choice for the first time, given the fact that we built fairly complex systems throughout the game, we wanted to make sure that the experience we were giving was a good one. And you know I cant speak for future Assassin’s, you never know where the games are going to go. All things are still on the table.”

You were speaking about DLC even in the panel (which we were present in prior to this interview), out of curiosity, are we going to see DLC similar to Origins? This game is a few steps ahead of Origins, and if Origins is such a huge shift from Syndicate, this is such a huge shift from Origins, are we going to see DLC that’s more in line with Origins DLC, or new kind of DLC, one that goes more into dialogue options, very specific characters, or a small sized story tucked away on the corner of the might type of thing?

“I’m actually not sure how much detail I can go into with that. What I can tell you is that there will be a lot of variety of content that you’re going to be seeing, in the next few months you’ll get a better idea of what’s coming out and how. I’m quite excited about it because it’s a lot of things that I’m invested in for sure. “

We would like to thank Melissa and Ubisoft for having us over to talk about the game. We’re excited for the future of the series!

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