In an interview with Eurogamer, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag director Ashraf Ismail discussed the future of the franchise and exactly what that means. For one, Ismail was confident in saying that among the writers and designer developing Assassin's Creed there is absolutely an end, an overall arc to the series. It just may take a while, a long while, to eventually get there.
Here's Ashraf Ismail's comments, noting Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillermot's influence on the franchise's direction:
"We have an idea of where the end is, what the end is. But of course Yves announced we are a yearly title, we ship one game a year. So depending on the setting, depending on what fans want, we've given ourselves room to fit more in this arc. But there is an end."
As noted, being a yearly release sets some pretty hefty expectations on the Assassin's Creed franchise. Perhaps more than other franchises. After all, Ubisoft essentially built their development future around this multi-studio Assassin's Creed yearly project. If Assassin's Creed were to end it would not only mean revenue losses, but a loss of identity and direction for the studios. The shared resources and company-wide vision is no simple thing to set aside.
That said, I'd imagine that the ending that Ismail has in his head is as much a place for the franchise to avoid as it is a place to go. Assassin's Creed reminds me in part of Harry Potter in this regard. JK Rowling had the last chapter of Harry Potter written long before the first book was ever published. From there, well, the amount of books and how many pages were in each were entirely up to her.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will be released October 29 on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U, with PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases later in the year. Just don't expect any more resolution that we've come to expect from the franchise.