Echoes of History, a podcast that dives deep into the real histories that inspire Ubisoft games, premiered its fifth season, titled Assassins vs. Templars, today on all podcasting platforms. Hosted by Dan Snow (Dan Snow's History Hit) and Matt Lewis (Gone Medieval), the eight-episode season will release weekly and take a close look at the Assassin Brotherhood and Templar Order and their rich histories, both in the franchise and in real life. Each episode will focus on a different point in the organizations' respective stories, with premiere historians like Dan Jones (The Crusades, The Templars), Dr. Farhad Daftary (The Assassin Legends: Myths of the Isma'ilis), and Juliette Wood (Eternal Chalice: The Enduring Legend of the Holy Grail) sharing their expertise.
"This season was really stars aligning, because as we were looking for a new season topic, we were having conversations with the team at History Hit, [one of the most popular history podcasts on the market that specializes in historical deep dives and providing context for present-day culture]" says Etienne Bouvier, Ubisoft's senior transmedia content manager. "They had already done a few episodes about Assassin's Creed on their show, and interviewed our in-house historian Maxime Durand, so they knew the franchise pretty well. It made sense to find a place for them in our own podcast feed and develop a collaboration."
With Snow and Lewis (who specialize in medieval history) aboard, and with the upcoming Assassin's Creed Mirage on the horizon, the team decided the fifth season of Echoes of History should come back to the roots of the franchise and focus on the two warring factions at the heart of the story. Assassins vs. Templars begins with the organizations' inceptions during the Crusades and spans centuries until the real-life fall of the Templars in 14th century France.
"There are also episodes dedicated to emblematic figures of this secret society," adds Bouvier. "For example, Robert de Sablé, who's one of the archnemeses in the first Assassin's Creed."
During production of Assassins vs. Templars, the historians worked hard to find a balance between telling the real histories of the Nizari Isma'ili and Knights Templar (the inspirations behind the Assassin Brotherhood and Templar Order, respectively), and connecting elements that are relatable and exciting for fans of the franchise.
"We do this back and forth between what history really was for these secret societies and how we displayed them in the game, kind of like a parallel story comparison" says Bouvier. "It's a dialogue between videogames and the real world, which is something we try to achieve for all Ubisoft podcasts."
You can listen to the first episode of Assassins vs. Templars today on any podcast platform. Echoes of History is produced in partnership with Paradiso. Previous seasons include Behind the Legends, Ragnarök, and Vikings, among others. For more Ubisoft audio projects, check out the newly-released audio series Far Cry: Rise of the Revolution, and stay tuned to Ubisoft News for more updates.