In what is actually a genuine surprise, Ubisoft is not preparing to release a new addition to the main Assassin's Creed game franchise this year. Instead, the game developer will wait until 2017 to unleash the successor to Assassin's Creed Syndicate, if a report from Kotaku is to be believed.

The report is light on details, as you'd expect considering the game is more than a year away from launch. However it does reveal that the game is codenamed 'Empire', and will be set in ancient Egypt, perhaps as the first game in a series that will explore other ancient lands.

The decision to not release an Assassin's Creed game in 2016 reportedly came after 2014's Unity failed to live up to expectations and launched with a huge collection of technical issues. By not releasing Empire until 2017, this year would be the first since 2008 to not feature a main Assassin's Creed release, and it could be the start of a new biennial release schedule.

There will still be a small handful of Assassin's Creed releases this year, though. Ubisoft is launching two '2.5D' sidescrolling games in the coming months: the first, set in 19th century India, will launch on January 12th; and the second, set in early 20th century Russia, will come out on February 9th. Both games will be available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for $10 each.

Later this year, on December 21, 2016 to be precise, the Assassin's Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender will hit cinemas. There are also rumors of an Assassin's Creed game collection that could come out during the holiday period.