Ubisoft's mega-studio in Montreal might be its console development workhorse at present, but there's plenty bubbling away under the surface at the smaller, Sweden-based Ubisoft Massive. To be precise, an online role-playing game for the next Xbox.
Game designer Marc Cartwright's LinkedIn profile makes mention of an "AAA Next-Gen Online RPG". Could this be an unannounced new IP - perhaps the "God of War lite" project leaked in August - or another instalment in an established franchise? And is the Massive team taking point on this one, or are they collaborating once again with the Montreal behemoth?
Massive cut its teeth on PC strategy games, notably the awesome Ground Control. Following its acquisition by Ubisoft, the studio was treated to a masterclass in action game design during work on Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Far Cry 3 - both titles which offer extensive online components and in the latter's case, a reasonably robust RPG substructure.
The studio is currently advertising a number of vacancies, including a slot for "an experienced Lead Level Designer to join an international team working on a AAA Online RPG." The listing continues: "In this position you will lead a Level Design team in building the best gameplay experiences ever conceived. For any game. Ever."
Ubisoft is, to lapse into technical jargon, 'well up' for the arrival of next generation consoles, having built Assassin's Creed 3's Anvil Next engine with a beefier hardware package in mind. Let's hope the publisher takes the lid off Massive soon.