Following the unexpected release and somewhat confusing removal of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed II: Discovery, we managed to get producer Ben Mattes on the phone to discuss the game, but more importantly, the future of Ubisoft's involvement in the App Store.
We were able to clarify what most people have been wondering about, and found out that an updated version of the game will be re-released on February 1st for $9.99, a price that Mattes described as "more than a good value". If you were lucky enough to purchase the game when it was available for a few hours, it appears the updated version shares the same iTunes app ID, and you should be able to download the update following the re-release without issue.
Prior to Assassin's Creed II, Ubisoft utilized their partnership with sister company Gameloft, allowing them to take Ubisoft properties and run with them on the App Store. H.A.W.X. was the most recent product of this partnership, and Discovery represents Ubisoft's first foray in to serious iPhone development.
They've taken the Nintendo DS version of Assassin's Creed II: Discovery and revamped it in nearly every way imaginable from higher resolution graphics, higher bitrate audio, additional game modes, and other goodies such a story designed to supplement the "full" version of the game on home consoles while creating an experience strong enough to stand on its own if you've never played Assassin's Creed II on the XBOX 360 or PS3.
Going forward, Ubisoft plans to treat the iPhone and iPod touch as a serious gaming platform, with games that draw from their extensive library of popular gaming franchises with the same gameplay quality that you would expect from a big-name game studio. Ben Mattes was reluctant to go in to any more detail, but did say to expect some "super-cool content" coming in the following weeks and months, with some of it announced sooner than later.
Mattes foresees multiple iPhone development teams working at Ubisoft for many different games that will spread the gamut of gaming experiences and price points-- With everything from cheap and simple casual titles to "premium" games like Discovery.
He assured me that Ubisoft is committed to coming to the App Store in a "big way", but admitted that they have a lot to learn, and quite a bit of information to digest before determining how to best utilize the massive pool of game development resources that Ubisoft has on hand. Ben explained that they're interesting in exploring as many opportunities as possible with the iPhone and iPod touch, which should excite any App Store gamer.