Ubisoft thinks the protagonist of the first two Assassin's Creed games "needs to end."
Modern-day Assassin's Creed character Desmond Miles has been part of the series since the first game, also appearing in Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations. He's been the player's main conduit into the different settings of the main games, being the background force behind ancestors Altaïr and Ezio. While Miles is coming back for the third numbered game, now set during the American Revolutionary War, he might not be with gamers for much longer. Speaking at a Ubisoft press event, Creative Lead Alex Hutchinson said that "Desmond needs to end."
Hutchinson characterized Miles as a wrapper that introduces the stories of Assassin's Creed, comparing his role to that of the narrator in the classic TV show The Twilight Zone. But, he said, there's other ways to frame the story, and in Miles' case, "we eventually do have to wrap it up." He explained the Miles can't stay with the series forever because "things that go on too long lack resonance. We're asking people to remember seven years worth of story." A backlog of four games to get the full story is a lot to ask of someone who is just getting into the franchise, and the best way to eliminate that hurdle is to eliminate Miles.
Miles' absence won't be a huge loss for the series, though. The universe and tone of Assassin's Creed, rather than a specific character, is what ultimately ties all the games together. This is most noticeable in the upcoming Assassin's Creed III, which is "90% a new game," according to Hutchinson. He noted that the new setting, new Assassin, and even new mechanics - did someone say, 'boat warfare?' - make the game almost a new IP. Without Miles, "we could have called it anything else," Hutchinson said. "It's just we like the wrapper of being an assassin and being in this continuing war against Templars. There's huge value in that."