As Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag sails ever closer to its release, one topic keeps appearing on the horizon of AC fans: the present day. We’ve all gotten more familiar with our newest Assassin, Edward Kenway. And we’ve done some deep dives together into the Caribbean setting during the Golden Age of Piracy. But after the end of Assassin’s Creed III, many of us had lingering questions about Juno, Abstergo and, most important, what happened to Desmond Miles. To help shed some light on the present day story in Black Flag, we turned to Lead Writer Darby McDevitt, who jumped onto Twitter yesterday to directly answer your questions. Here’s a full recap of the Twitter Q&A, along with a handful of some never-before-seen screenshots revealed during the hour-long chat!

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Present Day Q&A

@Solidskila Are the cluster and glyph puzzles returning?

In a way… there are now various hacking games that reveal tons of secret Abstergo content. Become a modern day pirate!

@DaCenterOfEarth will the present day story be a major part of the game?

There are a “handful” of missions you are required to play, and they have a clear story arc…

‏@DEADLYxASSAS51N will Clay (subject 16) make his return in AC4 and if yes in what way?

No, but Subject 17 may… in a roundabout way.

@AccessTheAnimus Can you tell us more about the audio drama set in the present that you talked about during the panel at SDCC?

Relayed through a series of “found tapes”, it tells the story of a few key Abstergo Ind employees from 1980-81.

@matman_1990 what country or location will the present day be set in & which characters will be in the present day?

Lovely Montreal, Quebec, actually… featuring a host of new characters, and a few old ones.

Here’s a view from the CCO`s office… :)

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Present Day Q&A

@HallOfGame11 Is our character aware the assassins and templars present existence? And do they learn much about Juno?

Yes, we will slowly reveal the existence of Assassins, Templars, and…

@inyourface47 How does the character in present day get introduced to Abstergo?

You are the main character, and you are introduced to Abstergo by being hired to work there.

@_2SHANEZ__ Will there be open combat in present day? Can you free run in 1st person?

No combat in the present day, no. It’s all about exploring, eavesdropping, and hacking. Modern day pirate stuff.

@MusicMartijn Will we see what happened to the world? Did Juno change it?

No, the world looks the same… Juno is a rogue A.I. and does not have enough strength to overtake the world yet…YET.

@Kinimod_H Does Desmond have any connection with this main character?

You are the main character. Do you have any Miles’s in your family tree?

@Mozzla94 will we see people from previous Ac games in Ac4 like desmond father?

Maybe… do you see any familiar faces in this picture

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Present Day Q&A

‏@spartansw0rd Will you be able to explore Abstergo?

Absolutely. You’d be a fool not to… there’s so much amazing content in the present.

‏@SultanRj Can We Get Out Of The Animus Like The Previous Games ?

Yes, you can exit your Animus at any time and explore the Abstergo Entertainment offices.

@bfett9 #AskACDarby will we explore more of Abstergo backstory and their purpose & drive? Will we See the other side of the story?

Absolutely. A taste if you just play the main story, and an entire buffet if you explore everywhere.

@MrXBob What about Desmond’s dad? And the other present day characters? Is that whole plot thread just… gone??

Previous characters will return, and the story is ongoing, but from a different perspective now.

@KareemTD What happened with Desmond ??

You’ll see… might want to cover your ears though.

@bfett9 #askacdarby will this game be mainly set from Abstergo’s point of view?

No, it’s from your point of view. You work for Abstergo, but you may like Assassins better. Or neither.

‏@elliott214 I’m guessing you’ll get to make a choice about who you join in the present?

Not a literal “press X to choose sides”. It will just present two sides of a conflict.

‏@adamk678 Will there be dialogue options/ conversations in present day?

No… because YOU are the protagonist, we didn’t want to put words into your mouth.

‏@MSUNREAL51 so what you’re saying is that we have the choice to work as an assassin or a Templar?

Neither. You work as you. Most people at Abstergo Entertainment are not Templars. But it is owned by Templars.

@KamalElgamel13 will the new character have a relation to Desmond?

No, Abstergo’s tech has improved. They have genetic memory cloud servers that allow anyone to dive into another’s memories.

@Hollywood397 please tell me nothing awful is done to Desmond’s body…

I could say that, but it wouldn’t make it true.

@SigfredoME Will you have a chance to see the owners of Abstergo entertainment?

A few of the bigwigs, yes.

‏@WynnePope Will we have our own office/workspace in the building? A present day hub of sorts?

You mean something like this…?

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Present Day Q&A

For more on Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, sneak your way over to the following features:

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Aveline Returns

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Stealth Spotlight

How Edward Kenway Becomes an Assassin

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

Assassin's Creed® IV Black Flag

Release date — October 29, 2013
Developer — Ubisoft Montreal
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag tells the story of Edward Kenway, a young British man with a thirst for danger and adventure, who falls from privateering for the Royal Navy into piracy as the war between the major Empires comes to an end. Edward is a fierce pirate and seasoned fighter who soon finds himself embroiled in the ancient war between Assassins and Templars. Set at the dawn of the 18th Century, the game features some of the most infamous pirates in history, such as Blackbeard and Charles Vane, and takes players on a journey throughout the West Indies during a turbulent and violent period of time later to become known as the Golden Age of Pirates.

ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood, Sexual Themes, Violence, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
the author

You wanna know deal on Parvez Lakha? The dude is one of the Community Developers on Assassin’s Creed at the Ubisoft Montreal Studio. Prior to joining Ubisoft he was an Account Executive for DIESEL, and co-founded one of Montreal’s first lifestyle blogs about the city: Montreal State of Mind. When he’s not in the studio you can find him publishing articles and editorials on his own website, as well as for WRGmag, creating DJ mixes (which can be found on his Soundcloud), trying new restaurants, or quite possibly (most likely) shopping online at Nike for a new pair of kicks which he probably doesn’t need. Follow him on Twitter: @parvezlakha

44 Readers Commented

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  1. Jordan on August 2, 2013
    Awsome! This is the stuff I like to see!
  2. Sam on August 2, 2013
    Do you know if we are able to go outside? I am way too looking forward to this game
  3. EA on August 2, 2013
    Sounding pretty awesome--though I find the talk of modern-day pirates incredibly, incredibly ironic, given Ubi's history.
  4. John on August 2, 2013
    Sweet mother of Christ this is gonna be amazing...
  5. max on August 2, 2013
    it sounds pretty cool so are you like a "spy" for the assassins working at Abstergo?
    • Sam on August 13, 2013
      No, it seems you are who you really are and you're simply there as a job - seen as a regular job like office admin (but more interesting). The only side you take, per say, is up to your own personal opinion - it won't give you decisions to make as it seems you're more a regular bystander to the big events whilst the protagonists spur things on around you - think about how it would be to be any one of the random people in the background and that's where they're putting you (although you'll happen to be in the wrong or right place at the wrong or right time)
  6. Kelly on August 2, 2013
    This game is looking awesome. when i first saw the preview, i was kinda sad that we were going into pirates (which to me, after pirates of the Caribbean and one piece had become almost a cliche) and i especially was saddened by the fact that we weren't getting a direct sequal to Connor *lol im one of the 5% that actually liked him xDD* and it came to the point where i thought the only thing i would be interested with the new game was the modern day sequences... and i have to say, the modern day parts look great! :D
    • Karl on August 3, 2013
      I don't think there are only 5% that liked Connor... I liked him too!
    • Matt on August 13, 2013
      the minority always speaks the loudest lol
  7. Kelly on August 2, 2013
    lol, wait, no i wonder what Abstergo does as an entertainment industry now...
  8. Shazzey89 on August 3, 2013
    I liked Connor also, but Ezio was more bad-ass! Regarding the animus, please let me know if I have forgotten anything from the "Abstergo and the Animus rules". I hope that it all gets linked in well and a lot of unanswered questions are, well, answered, and more about the pieces of Eden. Probably too much to ask but it's TOO LONG TO WAIT FOR THIS TO COME OUT. I want it NOW! :-)
  9. Matt on August 3, 2013
    just a little hypothesis here, in the last screen with the office you can see 5 statues i wonder if they are collectibles as you can clearly see more markers for the statues on the shelf's
  10. Max on August 3, 2013
    Did anyone else notice batmanin in the right front corner of the office?
  11. Max on August 4, 2013
    Here's an idea for a future AC game: through upgrades in the animus, you are now able to visit future decendents' memories and use what you learn to keep certain events from happening , so you go into the future, and play as an assassin in, say, 2070, the world has been devastated by Juno and u r one of the few surviving assassins, have futuristic weapons, can hijack vehicles, can fly for short periods of time through thrusters in your boots, and have to fight, gather information from and spy on Juno's army of brainwashed humans and Templars. After gathering enough info , u could return to present day and try to figure out a way to stop Juno from taking over. Like I said, it's just an idea.
    • Jason Drake on August 4, 2013
      That would be pretty awesome! It's too bad Ubisoft probably won't ever do a future one because they would rather do ones from past eras. An assassin in the future would be sick!
      • pedro on August 15, 2013
        1571533
  12. hotaru_chan on August 5, 2013
    Holy s***! I'd love to work for Abstergo if my workspace is like that
  13. hotaru_chan on August 5, 2013
    Holy s***! I'd love to work for Abstergo if my workspace is like that!
  14. great ideas on August 5, 2013
    I think that they should consider a dlc that goes head to head with Davy Jones and the story could be your first mate gets taken to the locker and you have to rescue him but in order to do that you must fight your way through other pirates in the seas and Davy Jones himself along with the legendary Kraken
  15. Diego G. on August 13, 2013
    Ok NOW Im interested. GREAT news that the present days is still ...present
  16. Nathan on August 13, 2013
    I am curious upon what the modern-day main character will look like?
    • R on August 14, 2013
      by the way it was phrased, it sounds as if it may be 1st person because its "you"
  17. Kyle on August 13, 2013
    Does anyone else see the modals in the last pic and think you pick them up by exploring Abstergo or storyline missions in the animas? or both?
  18. Grim on August 13, 2013
    As a total fanboy of assassin's creed, I have to say I'm excited to see them exploring new ways to make the game interesting.. But this sounds kind of boring to be honest.No combat in present. Therefor bringing us back to AC 1 sort of walk around in an office type stuff, which was neat at the time, but now kinda seems.. eh..I know the trouble it would take for them to do it, but I (along with a few people I assume) would love to see a bit more action in the present, rather than walking around. At least in Brotherhood and #3 you could run and do certain missions. Number 3 being the most action Desmond ever got since his escape in #2.And this "You are the main character" thing.. It feels like (don't kill me for this) a wii-sports thing, where you make an avatar and walk around. But at least you could do things.These are my dreams for the future AC games.1. Modern combat & missions with an interesting story arc.2. Self customization. Letting YOU be the assassin.3. Story ending with a pleasing cliffhanger. Not a sudden one that feels like you played 5 games just so your character could die. (NO offense Ubi. I love your work and I wouldn't wear one of my several Desmond hoodies everyday if I didn't love your work.)Now, all this being said, I'll bring up why I know they haven't done this yet. Time.Ubisoft are fan pleasers. And damn awesome ones at that. They release an AC game every YEAR. That. is. incredible. An AC game like what i'm talking about? Would take them a while. A long time. Years even. Just look at Watch Dogs (which I preordered as soon as I saw the demo). That took them a while, and hell, it's very close to what I want. In the end, it's awesome, but it ain't AC.I just hope that They'll consider doing an AC game that focuses on the present day struggle of the Assassin's, rather than walking around an office.
  19. peyman on August 13, 2013
    I'm in IRAN can I offer it?
  20. mark on August 16, 2013
    HI GUYS.MY NAME IS MARK AND A FAN OF ASSASSIN'S CREED GAMES?WHAT MARTIAL ARTS AND SWORD FIGHTING WERE USED IN ASSASSIN'S CREED GAME SERIES? PLEASE, PLEASE, GIVE ME THE HONEST ANSWER. I GOOGLED IT AND NONE OF THE WEBSITES I'VE VISITED GAVE ME WHAT I WANT.PLEASE, ANSWER ME HONESTLY.
  21. Dan on August 16, 2013
    The question that I haven't seen yet anywhere is - does main [present day] storyline will be as complex and interesting as the one before? I mean everything in previous games made sense only 'cause of main character trying to get artifacts and knowledge about them. So my real question would be like - "Is our animus-experience is still driven by main plot-line? Will this plotline last another three major chapters? :D" Cause aside from AC being totally cool and action-ish - storytelling is what I really enjoy. Thanks.
  22. Gabriel sevilla on August 19, 2013
    What is the launching date of assassin s creed Black flag on Pc please ??
  23. Honecoomi on August 27, 2013
    Неправильный раздед выбрал, удалите пожалуйста
  24. Eddie on August 31, 2013
    FOR THE LOVE GOD, PLEASE ADD A DEDICATED CROUCH BUTTON... It's only 2013, and your FIFTH installment of the series.
  25. chris on September 4, 2013
    in capturing of enemy ships, you have the option to recruit crew members, is there an option to execute enemy crew members? like make them walk the plank or hanging etc ?
  26. TheBeast on September 27, 2013
    can i also exit the animus after the last sequence? because i couldn't do that in the old games
  27. John Cradle on September 28, 2013
    Subject 17 is Desmond Miles
  28. Alex on October 7, 2013
    It seems that similar to AC1, your present day history will be more passive (with a lot more content than the first, obviously) and maybe we'll see a progression to more present day action like in these first games (from AC1 to AC2, ACB, ACR, and AC3).A new present day plot to take place in the next few years with more 3 or 4 games!Just...... please guys stick with historic accuracy (stop doing things like washington tyranny...) and work on your interiors... While the environment was great in AC3 and seems marvelous in AC4. But, for instance, in AC3 i still remember in the epilogue when Connor put the frames in the fireplace but we couldn't see them burn...Keep up the good work.
  29. Nick on October 14, 2013
    Will there be anything in next gen gameplay that would be missing from current gen?
  30. elly on November 5, 2013
    Is Edward gonna get some loving in this game?? Connor got no loving and I really missed the playboyish ways of Ezio-as do everyone else I know who plays the game. Give the man some LOVE!!
  31. Ayahime0 on November 7, 2013
    After beating the game, I was hoping for an ending in the modern era, but sadly, I was disappointed. I hope they have DLC for the modern era. I'm really interested with the modern era and Juno. What's her role? Is she important, really important in Black Flag?
  32. tommy on November 16, 2013
    i haven't finished yet and i want to know if you can still play after the story is finished like in ac3
  33. Milos on November 27, 2013
    I doubt in something.....If the animus is so stable,and gives access to all data , than the person that investigates Edward Kenway case , it is very possible that he is an ancestor from his daughter's side... :O
  34. Mikey on December 9, 2013
    I love these games but I think they should touch up on the bounty system. Especially for something like black flag. The more notorious u get, the higher bounty u should have. Then u can fight bounty hunters and work to increase ur bounty . Even if its a side game, mode, quest, level, etc. I think it would b cool
  35. m j murphy on December 10, 2013
    stuck in present day part four, can't get out. Never wanted to be there in the first place. The more I play, the more this game sucks. Stick to the pirates and forget the side show, the timed chases, the eavesdrop on whoever and it just might be salvageable.
  36. Jacob on December 18, 2013
    I would like to know where and what it is and it's level the boat with the lowest level cause I have a level 60 man o' war which is very slow and I would like the weakest and "bordable" ship to add to my fleet cause I am 99,9999999% sure the higher the level the slower, the more powerful and more spacious it is so the lower the level the less powerful, less spacious and "faster" it is.
  37. Joe on January 7, 2014
    Why with these Abstergo missions, they are so stupid. I just want to kill pirates, but I have to run around in an office building in Montreal. I really hate french people even more for this. It sounds like it would be a dumb french idea to put this into a pirate game. This is my first AC game, and I love it, but hate Abstergo and stupid Uplay. Just let me pretend to run around as a pirate. Next AC game, if it includes this, and looks cool enough to get, I'm going to buy it used and advise other people to do the same just so the proceeds don't go to you.
  38. wxoeo on February 3, 2014
    Another way you could use consistency will be to tell other caretakers of the potty-training strategy. After more than one or two weeks this will not be practical. It truly is loyal as well as a great guard dog. potty training

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