Scholastic partners with Ubisoft to publish a young adult novel series called Last Descendants, inspired by the video game world of Assassin’s Creed
In what looks to be a growing trend for Scholastic, they’ve partnered up with Ubisoft to bring the historical fiction video game Assassin’s Creed to the YA audience. The series inspired by the franchise is titled Last Descendants and the first in the series is written by Matthew J. Kirby. It will be published in September 2016 in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
“We’ve had such success with middle grade series, like Jedi Academy and DC Secret Hero Society, that are in that world of licensing, and we wanted to do something in YA,” says Debra Dorfman, Scholastic’s v-p and publisher, global licensing and media consumer products. “We thought historical fiction/sci-fi/fantasy was perfect for the YA audience, and we admired Assassin’s Creed because of its rich historical fiction. They’re so accurate about things that have happened in history.”
Dorfman believes the books will have a wide audience. “We think because it’s a standalone story, we’ll reach new fans who don’t know the game,” she says, adding, “There are strong female teen characters that have a leading role, and I really think we’ll reach a teen girl audience. They like sci-fi, fantasy, and historical fiction.”
Ubisoft’s head of content for Assassin’s Creed, Aymar Azaizia, had this to say about the partnership:
“We were working to develop something specific for a younger demo and we wanted to do it with content, since that’s what’s driving everything these days. And publishing is the purest form of storytelling.”
Azaizia notes that books allow for a different point of view and additional story elements. “We can tackle subjects we can’t do in a movie, because it’s too short, or a videogame, because the fans control so much and have their own agendas,” he says.
YA sci-fi/fantasy author Matthew Kirby, a longtime gamer himself, had already worked on several projects with Scholastic, so when he was given this opportunity, he was able to create his own new characters with an original story arc.
The first YA title’s settings include 1863 New York City during the draft riots and the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, with figures such as William “Boss” Tweed and Hernan Cortes making appearances. A group of teens is embroiled in the Assassin-Templar feud that is at the center of the gaming franchise.
No title has been given yet for the first book, and the cover is not final. The second book for Last Descendents is scheduled to come out in early 2017.
Check out GameSpots announcement:
Source: Publisher’s Weekly