Assassin’s Creed Origins is a 2017 action role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the tenth major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, following 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Principally set in Egypt, near the end of the Ptolemaic period from 49 to 43 BC, the story follows a Medjay named Bayek of Siwa and his wife Aya as they seek revenge for the murder of their son, and explores the origins of the millennia-long conflict between the Hidden Ones—forerunners to the Assassin Brotherhood, and the Order of the Ancients—forerunners to the Templar Order. The framing story, set in the 21st century, follows a new character, Layla Hassan, who relives Bayek and Aya’s memories using a modified Animus device.
The game’s development began following the release of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in 2013. Ubisoft Montreal led its four-year development with help from a team of nearly 700 people from other Ubisoft studios around the world. The team consulted Egyptologists and historians extensively to ensure the setting was authentically represented in the game. In response to the common criticism that the gameplay of the series was getting stale and overly familiar, Ubisoft decided to reinvent the Assassin’s Creed formula with Origins. Whereas previous entries were mainly stealth-action games, Origins introduces many elements found in role-playing games and an overhauled “hitbox-based” combat system. While Assassin’s Creed had been an annual franchise since Assassin’s Creed II (2009), an extra year of development time allowed the team to polish the game further. This was largely a response to the tepid sales of Syndicate, and the troubled launch of Assassin’s Creed Unity, which was plagued with technical issues when it was released in 2014.
Announced at E3 2017, Origins was released on October 27, 2017, for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and for Stadia on December 15, 2020. It received positive reviews from critics, with many calling it an improvement over previous entries and praising the story, characters, voice acting, reworked gameplay systems, world design, historical accuracy, and the visuals. However, the game also drew criticism for its pacing, quest design, and technical issues. The game has sold over ten million units worldwide and was nominated for several end-of-year accolades. Ubisoft supported Origins extensively following its launch, releasing two story expansions—The Hidden Ones and Curse of the Pharaohs—and a free Discovery Tour mode, which removes all combat from the game and allows players to learn about the history and culture of Ptolemaic Egypt through a series of guided tours. Its successor, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which is set in Classical Greece during the Peloponnesian War, was released in October 2018.