Assassin’s Creed is nothing if not a very large franchise, with annual mainline releases from 2009-2015. In recent years, Ubisoft has stretched out the lifespan of these games, with 2018’s Odyssey and 2020’s Valhalla getting multiple years of post-launch expansions. In 2021, both Odyssey and Valhalla are getting new chapters to their narrative with the Crossover Stories expansion, and Valhalla is set to get a massive 35-hour Dawn of Ragnarök DLC in 2022.
At 35 hours, Dawn of Ragnarök is one of the biggest Assassin’s Creed DLCs to date (if not the biggest). At that length, it’s practically another game, and given that it sees you playing as Havi, an “ancestor” of Eivor, you could argue it basically is. So that begs the question: Why is Dawn of Ragnarök an expansion? In the past, Ubisoft would have made something like this an entirely new game (Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag‘s Edward Kenway is an ancestor of Assassin’s Creed III‘s Connor Kenway, for example).
“To be honest, [that question] is one that we asked ourselves as well,” Ubisoft Montreal extended experience producer Jose Araiza told me. According to Araiza, Ubisoft has adopted the strategy of constructing its latest Assassin’s Creed games like theme parks, with each expansion acting as a new self-contained world that’s merely a piece of a larger park.