Ubisoft In Trouble Over Comments About Female Characters

Ubisoft In Trouble Over Comments About Female Characters

Shortly after Ubisoft upset many Assassin's Creed fans by saying that it had abandoned its plan to have female characters in its new game's co-op multiplayer mode, the company returned with another controversial explanation about the absence of women in its games — this one focused on Far Cry 4.

Speaking in an interview with Polygon, Alex Hutchinson, the game's director, said that the developers were "inches away" from allowing players to choose between a man or woman as a co-op buddy in the upcoming shooter's multiplayer.

What stopped them? Hutchinson said it was "purely a workload issue". The team didn't have a "female reader for the character" at its disposal, nor did it have "all the animations in place."

He went on to say that "in the future, moving forward, this sort of stuff will go away" once developers settle into the new and improved technology.

"We did our best," Hutchinson concluded. "It's frustrating for us as it is for everybody else, so it's not a big switch that you can just pull and get it done."

Ubisoft's best wasn't good enough for some fans, however. Before Hutchinson's comments were first published, many gamers disappointed with the company's earlier statements about Assassin's Creed: Unity had already taken to Twitter with the hashtag #womenaretoohardtoanimate in a widespread effort to call bullshit on the reasoning behind leaving female characters out of that game.

Other game developers called out Ubisoft for what they saw as flimsy logic too. Naughty Dog animator and former Assassin's Creed III animation director Jonathan Cooper, for instance, took to Twitter today to express his doubt about how hard it really is to model female characters on top of male ones, drawing from his own experience at Ubisoft:

Other developers with experience working on similarly-sized games chimed in as well:

What's fanning the flames here is the close timing of the two explanations, coupled with the fact that two entirely separate development teams working on unrelated games offered nearly identical reasons for not bringing female avatars into the fold — even though Ubisoft had them in earlier Assassin's Creed and Far Cry games.

That's a big part of why people are confused and upset by both of Ubisoft's statements this week. The company has already made games with compelling female protagonists and characters including Beyond Good & Evil, Child of Light, and many previous Assassin's Creed titles. Far Cry 3 also had a playable female character in its co-op multiplayer mode. Since all those games were made for older and less sophisticated pieces of gaming hardware than the PS4 and Xbox One, justifying the sudden absence of women by pointing to technical constraints didn't seem to follow.


Comments

    People are making this a thing about sexism because they want it to be a problem. If they wanted to make the female model as believable as possible and of high quality, they'd incorporate a new skeleton rig for the animations. That's not so bad with a team sure. But then you have to put the animations on top of that. Want some kind of physics for their breasts? That'll require additional skeletal rigging on the model. (Assuming that's the route they go for)

    When that's done they'll have to test all the animations to make sure they work. Make sure it doesn't bug out etc... I mean. Do the female designs have long hair? If they do then they need to make sure that flows correctly and the hair animates and is affected by the games physics engine realistically.

    But then again that's under the assumption they want it to be perfect and believable. But that's just my view on it. (Edit: Far Cry 3 had co-op? Whoah I've been missing out)

    Last edited 13/06/14 8:09 am

      Thats the problem. The guy that tweet that says that creating a female character only take few days is a load of bull. They have to recreate another story for a female path and all the things you said. First world problem is getting out of hand. I don't see a female Gordon freeman, female agent 47 or female Sam fisher a necessity in any way.

        Somehow I do think someone that's animated for Naughty Dog and AC has a little more knowledge regarding what it involved and how long it'd take. If you exceed his qualifications, then we'll take your word for it.

          Don't take my word for it and don't take anyone's word in the internet. Developer twitters are full of crap when it comes to the hate hype train. They just take the advantage and lash out at another studio.

          Regardless, if they use male animation, people will complain in the end that ubisoft is being low cost to not make new animations.

            There have been many games that have a single set of animations for both genders and I'm yet to hear any complaints.

              Exactly, there have been many games that does not have female option and I'm yet to hear any complaints as well. Why this time?

                As time goes on I am finding the gamin community is making up issues to make news, on the websites. Honestly it is ridiculous all my friends are gamers, this week has been awesome all we have been talking about is the slew of amazing games coming our way! You know the one thing no one complained about this or in previous years? The lack of female leads, do you know why? because it is unimportant it is a freaking video game, they don't even have a gender they are just a collection of polygons.... so god damn stupid.

                  Couldn't have said it better. It does not matter at all and there is no need to make a fuss about it. Just give me the game and I am happy.

                  Hey, no one complained about it before so it should never change! Thanks 1950's dad.

                  It does matter. It is weird that you cannot see that.

                  Ugh... grow up one day? That's the best anyone can do for you.

        You don't need to create another story, it's just your multiplayer avatar that you use to participate in other people's games.

        Last edited 13/06/14 9:06 am

          But the thing is, it is not a separate multiplayer. It is a four player narrative co op. It does have story in it involving four different characters. You don't just join in the game as an extra but you are part of the game.

            I could be wrong, but my understanding is that when you're joining someone else's game you're playing as your own customised assassin that's not named or essential to the story. The Devs even said you can play the co-op missions solo.

            If what you're saying is true, I wouldn't begrudge Ubi for leaving female avatars on the cutting room floor.

              So far sources everywhere are saying it is a narrative co-op unless the narrative part was dropped but based on Ubisoft's explanation when they said they mentioned "double the voices". I am pretty sure it is a narrative co-op.

              I don't think Ubisoft would want to kill their own best franchise just because of this decision. I guess we will know when we have more information.

                I'm definitely going to shelve my opinion until I have the facts.

                  Exactly this. There's only assumption to everything at this point. Best way to go.

        Just a question: how do you know 100 percent its wrong? When an expert says it is Id tend to believe that more...

          Sure animations only will only take days. He is a professional at that and I believe that but it does not take days to have a fully complete female character with female animation and female voice? That does not take days and free of charge.

            That is of course with the assumption there are any lines of dialogue to record for the other assassins, which we don't know. The point of actual order here is not the verbal spoken lines, which infact can actually be done in a single day or two, dependant on the quality and professionalism of the voice actor, but the actual construction of a female character for the game. The previous animator for the studio has gone on record saying that yes, they can do this in a few days, they can construct a female mesh and texture it. Again, with all due respect, I'll take his word over yours in this case.

              The previous animator did not make a main female protagonist for the studio. If he is willing to tell you how long it takes to make Connor, it is not a few days. It revealed before that it is a four player narrative co op which means each character will have individual lines. It is fine if you take his word for it but don't make it blind your own judgment.

                i agree - if the construction of the male character for the game only took one or two days, then i'd believe that the construction of the female would take the same amount of time.

                in my opinion, a good example of male developer bias is the fact that this dude thinks he can just put a boobs-skin on the existing male animations and create a legitimate and nuanced female character

                Last edited 13/06/14 11:09 am

      Graphics have come a long way since "OMG Samus is really a girl!", and so have the immersion levels. If you look at the running in WoW, and character interactions(even FFVII to get into the brothel)... there are subtle differences that need to be addressed.

      Totally okay with them doing 100% or nothing at all... half assing stuff is when you end up with travesties like this failed FTTN NBN.

      Assassin's Creed Unity characters don't have their hair visible, breasts don't need to have physics, plenty of other games just have a set of animations universal to your avatar regardless of sex. When you think of how the AC assassin's move and climb and fight, I can't see why you'd need to animate it any differently for a woman, they don't move in a particular gender specific way.

        Indeed, they're all wearing assassin robes with hoods over their heads. The only thing that really differs is the face.

        I can't see why you'd need to animate it any differently for a woman, they don't move in a particular gender specific way

        Maybe they're refering to Wildstar where all women sway their hips.

      Left out the part that games are also art and it is up to the artist vision. Why should they change that due to bullshit articles about non issues.

      I think it's become a thing about sexism because Ubisoft displayed the perception that a woman is not worth animating over a man. It's also about the message the general idea sends, that it wasn't a priority from the beginning. If either of these were untrue, we'd have female characters. Simple.

      Can't they just half-ass it and reuse Aveline's animations?

    Surely they can always add them in another DLC later on yeah?

    Third world problems at their best. Normal people don't care about this crap, just on the game's quality.

      Excuse me - normal people? Do you mean men? Whilst I don't care about AC, because I don't really like the series, I love Far Cry and think it would have been awesome to have the option to play as a woman. And don't tell me that's too hard of a request, or asking too much, or being selfish. Just give us the option. Or just make more women lead characters.

        They have to have a completely different set of Animations, Concept Art, Motion capture, ETC. IT's A pain in the butt is what it is. Someone will eventually do it, but it costs money it has nothing to do with sexism. WHy is it that men can be bashed without retort, but the second you mention a woman all hell breaks loose?

          Just because it's passive, that doesn't mean it's not sexist. Choosing to prioritise all of the features in the game over having women in it is sexist. It may not be intentionally sexist, but it is in fact alienating half of the world's population. It would be like not putting black characters in a game because it takes more time to make the new textures. Sure, it may not be an intentional or targeted act, but it's making a choice to exclude black people because they aren't important enough to you to include them.

          As for why all hell breaks loose when this stuff happens, it's because women are constantly marginalised in our culture, and as long as men are the default in games it will continue (EDIT for clarity, the furore will continue as long as men are the default). Men have it pretty good when it comes to sexism. Complaining about sexism towards men is like complaining that somebody stubbed out a cigarette on your carpet to your neighbour, when their house is on fire. Yeah the burn in your carpet is annoying and wrong, but it's a bit awkward to point out next to the flaming wreckage that they're experiencing.

          EDIT: fixed a typo.

          Last edited 13/06/14 9:24 am

            I actually think the portrayal of men in media is just as troubling as it is for women. The only difference is that men suffer sexism from a position of privilege so it's easier to overlook. I'm a father of two boys and I can tell you that the images and expectations forced onto young men is equally troubling.

            That said, I hate it when guys pull the "we suffer from sexism too" line. It's a selfish argument that's usually irrelevant to the current topic and usually brought up to try and discredit sexism towards woman. Men and women are both the victims of sexism but you don't need to acknowledge one to address the other.

              Don't get me wrong, I agree completely that the male portrayal in media is very troubling. I suspect, and hope, that addressing many of the problems that women face will have a run-on effect that alleviates some of the problems with male portrayal in the long term.

              I think you kinda do... Not necessarily termed "sexism" but groups can still be marginalised with ignorant and knee-jerk responses to either issue. I actually think the way some men understand "sexism" causes them to be unnecessarily defensive of the issue. Either side is capable of marginalisation, it just takes a little care in dealing with a sensitive topic.

              It does hurt me particularly when I hear people decry the lack of strong women characters in games and I feel the need to point out that not everyone's idea of a healthy and conscientious representation of my gender are the "murderous psychopath" or "blathering patriot" archetypes. If omission or lack of consideration and empathy are problems with gender norms then why isn't this type of discourse scrutinised? Wouldn't that simply be beneficial to everyone?

                I really do want the conversation about sexism on both sides to occur, I just don't want sexism against men brought up purely to silence sexism against women debates. I hate the whole "it happens to men too so shut up". I would love to see more articles on Kotaku discussing the troubling portrayal and roles of men in games.

          Another game developer giving is the inside story on how this stuff works ...

          You obviously don't understand sexism then. Look up the term. ACTUALLY look it up. You really don't understand it.

        No, it would be too hard and cost too much money to animate the character you're playing from a first person perspective.

        As a side note, one of the FC3 coop characters is female.

      I agree.
      People need to calm the Fuck down and just play the game with whatever the character is.
      I will play as whatever gender if the game is good. I just don't see why there is a sudden need to start stamping feet and chucking tanties over genders in a game series that's been male since the beginning.

        This isn't about the main character you play as, almost all of the AC protagonists have been men and it hasn't been an issue. In this case, it's about your multiplayer avatar that you can create and customize to look like whatever you want. It's also about their reasoning as to why women aren't included, which some believe to be flimsy.

        Some people believe that a multinational developer with many studios and thousands of employees saying "sorry, your entire gender is absent because of budgetary/workload reasons" is a little weak.

    I really don't wait a female assassin, I wont be able to play with her for a week every month..

      Well, they'd be extra angry for that one week and probably be a lot better at combat, but they'd probably have to ditch the trademark white assassin garb.

    There are lots of games not coming out with female protagonists, why were Ubisoft directly attacked about it? The new Tomb Raider won't have a playable male character and they aren't being called out for it. Next there will be "Why arent there enough eskimos in games?. People are trying to find problems where there aren't any.

      Until the day comes when I can play as a Trans Gender, gay eskimo, with a peg leg, one blind eye, a speech problem and my toe nails painted orange. Every game will be unfair bullshit.

        THIS!

          Fact there are more games with women in the lead role then there are games with a Gay lead.
          This is disgustingly unfair and should be rectified.

      Nothing says "I am willfully going to misunderstand the issue" like a comment like this.

      But you know, I will take you at face value:

      The reason why Tomb Raider isn't being called out for not having a playable male character is because, as a male gamer, you could stand in the doorway to a video game store (they still have them, right?) toss a rock and hit a game that has a male protagonist. Tomb Raider is one of the few games that actually has a female protagonist, and sure, you can whinge and moan about how it doesn't have a male character you can play, but then I'm sure mostly all anyone will do is gently direct you towards the Uncharted series of games which are basically "Tomb Raider with a male protagonist".

        So it only swings one way?

        That is a double standard something feminists are proficient in, if you want gender equality if goes both ways, if you want the option for female lead where the lead is currently male then you need to do exactly the same in a game with a female lead.

        You can't have your cake and eat it too.

        Tomb Raider, Bayonetta, Mirrors Edge, Child of light, Rogue Legacy, Mario Kart.

        Can play as a female in them. All pretty big games and just games off the top of my head.

        You forget that games are art. It is the artist vision. Should I demand a Mona Liam?

          Wow you can list a handful of games with female leads. Good 4 u. I could list a shitton more games with a male lead as rebuttal, so?

          It's funny how games are conveniently art and the "artist's vision" when the discussion turns to why there aren't more non straight white dude protagonists.

            If the story calls for non straight white guys than put it in. I have no issue with any minority being in a game. The issue here is that people should be able to make the game they want to just as an artist has free reign over his canvas and not have to deal with this non issue bullshit.

            If you don't like these games than don't buy them. You can even go as far as making your own. Digital tutors have an amazing catalog of game creation lessons at a really great price.

      The reason Ubisoft is being attacked about it is that they have announced (twice! in a week!) that they WERE going to include a female character but now it's going into the "too hard" basket. (So really, ladies, we're not sexist because we were going to include you, but it costs too much money!)

    Haha breast physics my arse... news flash, tits dont move in ways that require seperate physics to be added that aren't already in place for a character.... despite so many games seemingly focused on 'the jiggle'. Thats what bras are for chums

      You mean corsets? Bras were not in common use until the early 20th century.

        Strap them down with bandages. BOOM issue fixed. Lol.

        Already feel stifled/out of breath enough with a corset, good luck with your assassin'ing! especially the part where you parkour from one side of the city to the other with such grace. :P

        Last edited 13/06/14 1:53 pm

        Either or, regardless, there is really no need to create a whole new physics engine for a pair of funbags :-)

    First of all, I can't believe people are really saying "this isn't an issue". While I might not be an animator, I sure as fuck am one of their customers. "Sexism is a first world problem" is the most LAUGHABLE bullshit I've ever heard in my LIFE! Sexism is an EVERYWHERE PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY in third world countries! Not only that, it's a millenium-old problem that people just don't seem to understand. Why is it okay to get pissed off when racism is involved but not sexism? I'll tell you why: because racism deals with men, too, and men are obviously more important than women.

    To say there would be nothing to the story is also another shady excuse. Women had equal, if not more, involvement in the French Revolution than men did. Fucking Google it. It's only an "unnecessary thing to get mad over" because you already have what you want: another lame white dude runnin' around on rooftops with the same goddamn character design as Altaïr, Ezio, Connor, Haytham, Desmond, and Edward. I'm sorry, is that not enough playable male characters for your franchise? Are women not capable of having a good story? No wait, I can answer that: we have better ones. Because for a woman to do what a man does it takes a tenacity and audacious tendency to actually act like yourself and not what people tell you to.

    Any woman character they could create would be 8X better than anybody they have thus far because it takes a strength of will to even consider breaking the norm. Already this fictional woman that-will-apparently-never-exist has a top honor in my heart.

    "But women are playable characters in the multiplayer and Liberation had a woman protagonist!"

    How about we rephrase that to what it really means? "You got to play characters that have no place in an actual story and a WOC whose only special skill was to change clothes and whose game was barely publicized!"

    I'm embarrassed for everybody who thinks this is "just a political issue that has no place in videogames". It hurts to hear something like this from my favorite videogame franchise. I don't even know if I want to buy Unity and continue to support this lame-ass company anymore.

      Your point on the french revolution is well made. Was almost going to give up on the comments section as the number of men (boys?) spouting crap approached it's usual threshold of defending the status quo and shitty games churned out by big publishers are somehow worthy art. They just want to play their game about fighting for freedom in peace without having to change the status quo.

      Meghan I agree completely with sexism but I will only make this point: while it's nice to encourage stronger female leads, and options to play as a female, I don't think games such as Tomb Raider or Metal Gear Solid would work if you had a character sex selection screen at the start. there's a genre of games for that and other games just won't be as well fleshed out if you entire game story depends on a choice of how you want to play it. games like TLoU wouldn't work as well if the game started when Joel meets Ellie because of missing narrative

      I have nothing to add to this comment except to say that you are a rad person.

      Nice sentiments but it'd be nice if you didn't undermine everyone who's been marginalised due to race.

      desmond and altair were middle eastern, ezio was italian and connor is native american ill give you ezio and haytham but tell me how the others are white? or are you one of those racists who use slurs like halfcast.

      and how is a 2 year old game that got a re-release this year "barely publicized" and anyway i thought any female character would be better then nothing you literally said that 2 sentences ago so i dont see how, how the game was marketed makes a difference.

      this is why companies dont bother with listening to these complaints because they make the game you ask for and then you complain about it so why should they bother the effort in the first place? and anyway would you reall want a female character who went from concept to finished within 3 days i dont know about you but id rather play as no character over a poorly written /rushed/shoehorned in character

      Well put. Sadly, I think this is no more complicated that they never considered having a female character, were embarrassed when this oversight was pointed out to them and lied in an attempt to excuse their position. The oversight was a mistake, but what I can't stomach is the easy approach to deceit - a number of these big companies lie as easily as breathing. To say they have contempt for customers would be incorrect - they are totally dispassionate about us. Inevitable really, when making money is the only goal many of them have.

    Give me female villains and female soldiers to kill in my games, and we'll walk the road of equality together.

    While we're at it: I don't get to kill kids in games, they're underrepresented too.

    When's the last time I got to play as a person in a wheelchair? This is bullshit, cripples are people too.

    I WANT TO PLAY AS A HALF-INUIT HALF-FRENCH LESBIAN FROM TONGA. REPRESENT MY WISHES.

    The cost of implementing women in a game like Assassins Creed Unity must be many millions of dollars. It's not trivial at all, and it's really disappointing to see supposed animators spouting such horseshit as "it's only 2 days work" and "men and women move the same". I can see a woman jogging in the distance, in my peripheral vision, and know immediately it's a women because of the way she moves. And I can and do constantly notice when games try to use male animations on female characters, or even worse, using male rigs on female characters.

    Just creating the female model and texture assets is people-months of work. All the costume variations etc. You could tweak a lot of the parkour and combat animations, but you'd need to recreate the runs, walks and idles. You'd need to redo a lot of the cutscene animation too, create a female and a male version. That's not something that an animator can just do in their spare time - for a game like Assassins Creed Unity it means going back to the mocap studio and recording the entire game again with female actors, and then spending many people-months of work cleaning that up and integrating it with the current system.

    I personally think they should have included female assassins and that the cost is well within their budget and would absolutely be worth it. But I'm not kidding myself that it's a trivial addition either like some of the people I'm hearing on twitter.

    Last edited 13/06/14 9:14 am

      As far as I know the character isn't involved in cutscenes or the story, it's the blank multiplayer avatar. I'd imagine there's be voice work though for breathing, grunting, pain, combat sounds etc.

        Ah okay, makes sense. And just to be clear, I'm not arguing that they shouldn't do it, but just that's it's not as cheap as some people are saying.

          I was going to post exactly the same thing. As much as Ubi's answer was not a good excuse, it's way more than 2 days of effort. As for what @shadow said - the problem with only including the character as a 'sidekick' for coop is that you'd still be left with a large proportion of people who will be unhappy that it's not a female protagonist. That once again, we relegate females as being a second-thought addition, rather than the primary focus.

          That would have to be built from the start ala Mass Effect and not just an afterthought.

          Nothing wrong with adding relevant information to discourse. Everyone can learn from it.

    I've been outraged at the lack of a male protagonist in Metroid games for years.

    I demand a male Lara Croft and a female Nathan Drake!

      Lol. I love what you did there. was well worth reading this far down in the comments

    What annoys me is how people comment without the facts. Attention everybody: this isn't about the protagonist! It's about your customisable co-op avatar that you use to join other people's games.

      To be honest I'm not so sure that's what it's really about; I've read a bunch of comments and the focus seems to be on wanting more female protagonists, not 'sidekicks' for coop. That's reflected in most articles/comments I've seen online.

        Eh, when it comes to protagonists, I completely respect the artist's vision. If the controversy is about Ubi not including a gender toggle for the protagnoist then surely this outrage needs to be directed at almost all developers. It's not Ubi's job alone to create gender parody in the industry. I would like to see more female protagonists, I'd like the split to be 50/50, but I'm cool either way. But, I think pretty much any game that allows you to make a character from scratch (which is what I thought was happening in Unity) ought to have both genders.

        Last edited 13/06/14 12:01 pm

    @deathkraiser wooo didn't even have to start this one up again.

    How hard could it be for an Assassin's Creed game? They all wear loose-fitting unisex robes for god's sake.

    Don't tell me that female avatars would be difficult to do when you've proven you're capable of rendering highly detailed next-gen facsimile's of revolutionary Paris and the Himalayas. They're wasting their money on making the game look as pretty as possible when they could be using their time and resources to make the game deeper. Female avatars would just be a small part of that.

      Someone made a great point yesterday that for a woman playing the game, every pretty sparkle will have the afterthought "they had time to animate this, but not my gender."

      Maybe they were thinking about how long it'd take to model the breast-plates.

    Easiest way to solve to the problem is have no 'HUMAN' characters and all characters 'ALIEN' then there can be no conjecture on how a character is perceived male or female. As they are now ALIEN and can look however they (the developers) like at the end of the day they are ALIEN with HUMAN characteristics... end of story

    I couldn't care less. That being said but this article is surely a joke right..
    If the writer of the games themselves choose to write a game with female characters, if you don't want to play that game then DON'T buy it..
    Would it be good if you could choose a gay, black, Asian, female, male , transgender, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, child, old age pensioner, Tall, midget, mentally retarded, MS, paraplegic and amputee, but if a game doesn’t have all of these options does this mean i will not buy it, of course not .. simple really..
    ever noticed there are no other characters other than white in mario bros.. seems racist to me.. I want a black character in Mario.

    It's amazing how many people are trying to twist this argument into "I demand to have [Ridiculously specific and unlikely combination of traits here] as my playable character! WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?"

    Here's a news flash: Girls and women are gamers too. They deserve equal representation in games where the option is available.

    If you disagree with that, you're wrong. If you complain that it's a first world issue, you're wrong. If you say that men are marginalized too, you're wrong. If you try to play the reverse sexism card, you're wrong AND an idiot.

      That's right kids! Remember, it can't be sexist if you're a man!

      And we're the ignorant ones? Jesus. If the developers don't feel like they have a good idea for a female character, or flat out don't want to make one, who are YOU to demand they do so? I didn't want to play as a gun toting red neck murderer in GTA V but I didn't decry Rockstar and demand they replace him with a character I could more easily relate with. No sir/madam, you are wrong AND an idiot.

    So, how many guys or developers have actually been naked with a woman? Or seen a naked woman that wasn't in porn? Does everybody really think all woman shake their ass while walking (even when alone in their own house) and that the slightest movement causes their tits to bounce around the whole place? Has anybody gone to the gym and seen how tits don't bounce? Because that shit is annoying while jogging.

    For fucks sake, Robert Paulsons tits didn't jiggle around as much as videogames do, and he wasn't wearing a bra.

      His name is Robert Paulson ...

      Last edited 13/06/14 12:02 pm

    What about the fact that maybe they decided to go with men because why the fuck not? I don't see it as an issue. What's next? Will every game and movie require one black person, one white person, one male and female and someone from every country? It's creative direction, who gives a fuck. They didn't do it to say "fuck you to women" Sometimes I wish we could just turn the internet off for like a year so I don't have to witness this stupid bullshit

      You didn't mention asians or hispanics, you racist pig.

    Ubisoft has a good track record of creating games with female leads, so why are we crucifying them for this, and doubting them at their word when they explain themselves? If it was as easy as the guy from Naughty Dog says, wouldn't they just do it, instead garnering all this bad PR? What other reason would they have to not do it? As I said before, they have showed several times that they have no trouble putting women in their game, so that's definitely not the reason.

    This kind of overreaction over every little perceived real or imaginary sexism issue does more harm to the anti-sexism cause than good.

      I think that a lot of the backlash is from the perceived promise broken. People like to see characters that they can relate to in games, this usually means people like themselves, and there are precious few big franchises that include playable women. When Ubisoft comes out promising to include female characters in these new games, people get excited and emotionally invested in the game (hyped). Then to have the developers turn around and say it was too hard, it hurts.

      It sends a message to the people who were looking forward to seeing characters like themselves in the game that they simply don't matter to Ubisoft. Or at least that they don't matter as much as the average white dude. Not only that, it's saying that they matter less now. Why do women matter less to Ubisoft now, when they've made a game in a historically appropriate period for female assassins? Two years ago it was fine for Liberation, but now it's not worth the effort? We are always more disappointed in the people that we had high hopes for (see Mass Effect 3).

    Hey, so those massive crowds look bloody wicked. And the framerate holds quite well! But sure, let's focus on what's not there. Coop games like Payday are about four dudes robbing a bank, but the new AC should at least have a token female character before they dare stepping foot in cooperative territory.

    Whilst I believe that a female character would work - Aveline stands as tall as Ezio as far as interesting and likeable characters go - I wouldn't take it as such a grave insult that I can't play one in coop. Simply a choice the developers made, hardly a big deal and doesn't strike me as any kind of statement. It's just the game they decided to make.

    A lot of people also don't realise or take into account the lack of heirachy at Naughty Dog. They do whatever they want whenever they want. I imagine at Ubisoft, in a team that consists of thousands of people, there's going to be some sort of management/heirachy/bureaucracy -- and that's not taking into account approvals and time for changes and edits. So no, I don't believe things would get done in 'a day or two' in a company of this magnitude.

    Outside of that, it's their vision at the end of the day, and all this noise is all for nothing.

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