It's a given that Ubisoft is working on the next installment in the highly esteemed and extremely popular Assassin's Creed franchise, and there's a chance Assassin's Creed III could drop towards the end of next year.
The publisher has hinted at an annual release program for their vaunted series, although it's possible that ACIII won't make it until 2012. Either way, it seems they're already thinking about it, as several sources are reporting that Ubisoft has sent out a user survey to obtain AC-related feedback for the next entry. The survey can be seen in its entirety ; there are plenty of "what would you like to see…?" questions. Depending on how the fans reply, we could get new features like enhanced Eagle Vision, faster free-running, the ability to create custom bombs, a new objective where you and your Assassins battle the Templars to gain control of a city, and online/offline cooperative multiplayer modes. Most of the questions are in fact multiplayer-oriented, which may be both good news and bad… Brotherhood didn't suffer due to any perceived focus on multiplayer but if they care about it this much, ACIII might…
Then again, maybe it just means they won't fiddle with the single-player as much. This AC fan hopes he's in the same boat with other followers of the series- enhancements and improvements are fine, provided the core gameplay mechanic and quality presentation remains the same. The hero should never be changed into a superhero, the game should never leave its stealth roots behind (I'll just stop playing if this happens), and a focus on creating the most vibrant and believable living, breathing atmospheres shouldn't change. By the way, the survey also asks if you'd rather have a whole new setting and main character, or if you want to see Ezio return in a new story.
Well then, it seems they have a lot to hammer out before work actually begins. Hard to believe it'd make it for November 2011. Still, heed the words, Ubisoft…don't you do something dumb.