News that Ubisoft scuttled plans for including female playable characters in the upcoming Assassin's Creed Unity was met by scorn and derision by many video game commentators last night. Now, Kotaku has an official statement from Ubisoft on the controversy.
The reasoning behind the decision — that it would have been too expensive to animate female character models — felt flimsy to some. Ubisoft's comment doesn't touch on that thinking, focusing instead on what they have done in the past:
We recognize the valid concern around diversity in video game narrative. Assassin's Creed is developed by a multicultural team of various faiths and beliefs and we hope this attention to diversity is reflected in the settings of our games and our characters.
Assassin's Creed Unity is focused on the story of the lead character, Arno. Whether playing by yourself or with the co-op Shared Experiences, you the gamer will always be playing as Arno, complete with his broad range of gear and skill sets that will make you feel unique.
With regard to diversity in our playable Assassins, we've featured Aveline, Connor, Adewale and Altair in Assassin's Creed games and we continue to look at showcasing diverse characters. We look forward to introducing you to some of the strong female characters in Assassin's Creed Unity.