The Assassin's Creed 4 release date was finally confirmed earlier today by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. The good news is that the popular franchise is far from over. The bad news, though, is that we won't see the next title until 2014. Read on for more Assassin's Creed 4 release date news and game details.

The first news surrounding the Assassin's Creed 4 release date was leaked earlier today during a investor's earnings call, Gameranx reported. Guillemot was happy to announce that the previous game, set during the American Revolution, was a huge success and we certainly haven't seen the last of the game's murderous protagonist.

"In financial 2014, we will introduce an all-new Assassin's Creed hero, within an all-new team and time period, and we expect it to be another major leap forward for the franchise," he announced according to the gaming news-site.

Guillemot also announced that the Assassin's Creed 4 release date will be bring big changes to the popular series. One big change may be the option to play with a female character, Gamernanx reported:

According to Guillemot, much will be changing with the series, as the upcoming game will feature an all new hero (or heroine) with a new team to support him or her. Furthermore, the game will explore a different time period than any of the previous games in the series.

Given how Assassin's Creed 3 ended, it should come as no surprise that the series needs a new protagonist and team to back him or her up.

Gameranx also notes that the Assassin's Creed 4 release date will bring the first game in the franchise created by more than one team of developers, where each group will tackle a different "chronological chapter" of the new game.

This has us thinking that the Assassin's Creed 4 release date could bring players to multiple locations and historical moments. We've heard rumors that the new game could be set in China, but where else could it take place? The American Civil War? Feudal Japan among the Samurai? Europe during World War I or II? South America during the downfall of the Maya Empire? A sci-fi future? The possibilities are endless, and the only thing we do know is that we're getting a totally fresh setting

Here's a quote from the Ubisoft CEO that doesn't really answer any of those questions, instead explaining the logistics of several groups working towards the Assassin's Creed 4 release date individually.

"It is the benefit of multiple teams, working on multiple chapters of the brand, each getting several years to make their versions of an Assassin's Creed game," Guillemot said according to IGN .

He also hinted that we may get more info at upcoming gaming expos, either E3 or CDG. That means it's possibly Ubisoft could reveal the official Assassin's Creed release date in the next few months.

Check out this video report on the Assassin's Creed 4 release date from IGN:

Over on Twitter speculation over the Assassin's Creed 4 release date and setting have sped up to hyper drive. One gamer, Nick Gigante ‏@NicholasGigante claims to know that the new game will be titled "Black Flag" and feature a pirate theme and location. Though he adds that you should take these rumors with a "very minimal grain of salt."

"There's a rumor that Assassin's Creed 4 is set in Brazil," tweeted @zandatsu.

"I see Ubi today said new character and setting for Assassin's Creed 4. Like I said yesterday, it will be rated *puts on gruff voice* ARRRRR," tweeted Asim Tanvir ‏@AsimTanvir.

"ASSASSIN'S CREED 4: ASSASSINATE HITLER," tweeted Mr. Servbot (CRE) ‏@LordServbot.

"Assassin's Creed 4: Django Unchained I'd buy it," tweeted Django Reinhardt ‏@TheApologician.

"Assassin creed 4 will have new characters and a new time, does thing mean we won't find out what happened to Desmond?" asked Reece Ramsdall ‏@skatemofo.

"Assassin's Creed 4 announced. Uhm. I don't know how I feel about this anymore," tweeted Aisha ‏@whittewhore.

"Assassin's Creed 4. Enough said," tweeted Robert McElhinney ‏@RMcElhinney.

"WTF, assassin's creed 4 is coming out next year. i thought they were going to do other games in the Connor saga," tweeted brodangle ‏@Cibed.