Ubisoft Responds To Assassin’s Creed Female Character Controversy

Ubisoft Responds To Assassin’s Creed Female Character Controversy

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.


  • You also can’t play as a talking pie. How dare they not accommodate me.

    • This may come as a surprise to you but as a talking pie you constitute an incredibly miniscule percentage of the population. Much less than the 50 percent that women occupy.

        • Well actually pretty close, 48% of gamers are women.

          Fair enough multi-player/co-op should have both male and female playable characters, but I have to argue if you are playing a narrative based game and the main protagonist is written as a male you cant change that fact. It would be like reading a book and wanting to change the main character to be a woman from a man or vise versa.

          Though Mass Effect did do it and it worked across the whole series if you managed your saved games and linked it all up.

          • Just because 48% of gamers are women doesn’t mean that they are part of the target demo.

            My fiancee is definitely a gamer (pc primarily) but has almost no interest in the AC series. She didn’t even play Mass Effect because “it’s a shooter”… Loved Dragon Age Origins (not 2) and Skyrim though. She wouldn’t consider playing a game like Wolfenstein TNO or Halo.

            When the Uplay data that we all log into when we play AC screams that mostly males play AC… (you can fill in the rest with your brain).

            EDIT: She did see me playing AC4 on the x1 and was impressed enough to consider playing it. I’m nudging, just because I feel it’s a game she could play without the need for the “twitch skills” that she claims she doesn’t have. I’ve been with her for a while now and seen those “twitch skills” when she is playing many games. It’s a frame of mind really. Lot’s of people do it to themselves. I do it with all the MOBAs that are the rage. I don’t consider myself “leet” enough (even though all my mates that play them tell me I could play and be an effective team mate) and all the horrible stories you hear about the communities being wankers to new players is more than enough to dissuade me.

          • In the final market analysis file in Black Flag, they introduce the female Aveline character (DLC) with a comment that she would appeal to the female demographic which is now approaching 50%. There seems to be a direct relation between the files uncovered at abstergo and the progression of the AC brand. This shows that they believe there is a strong representation on female gamers playing the AC games. My wife on the other hand just wants a Kinect game that is fun… I don’t know how to let her down gently.

          • She won’t get them if she doesn’t atleast try. I was damn slow when I first started FPS same with DOTA2.

          • But maybe there are males like me who play AC and want’s to see and have a female option or a strong female lead in the series…I’m tired of too many males…for example AC Rogue will have be my favorite game if the main character will had be a female…because is a male is kind of making me to quit the game from the first missions…So Ubisoft should think about male players who maybe want female characters as a option at least for the main story…

          • Yeah thats fine. If I have the option to have my avatar in game as a collection of pixels that represents a female human, I’ll pick that everytime.

          • How many out of 48% of women gamers play anything other than The Sims?
            I just think the 48% stat gets thrown around alot since 99% of women I know don’t like video games and 99% of women I see in the stores don’t go any where near the video game section or EB games.
            Where the hell are these women?

          • I don’t think you understand. I am not a mythical creature, and you don’t have to be lucky to find a woman who plays video games on a gaming website.

          • Oh please, get off your high horse. Sure, there are women who only play The Sims. But they likely wouldn’t be as outraged by this. It’s pretty clear that there are LOTS of people (men included) who would have liked to play a female character in this AC. Admittedly, I stopped playing it a while ago because it felt to repetitive. I’m female, I do play a lot of Sims, true. I also play Mass Effect, Skyrim, Battlefield, several strategy games, I started Wolfenstein, which I found too… hm. Well, I’m German and I found the whole game distateful.

            Please stop making assumption on game preferences based on gender. It makes you look stupid.

          • I’m also a girl and I feel the same way as the comment you’re being derisive towards. Most women “gamer” statistics are including mobile gaming (like Candy Crush, which is female-dominated) and The Sims, as well. AC and Nintendo games are also franchises that women gravitate towards. However, most hard core gamers do not consider mobile gaming as real gaming, nor do they typically include The Sims. I personally am dismissively of other girls that call themselves gamers when all they play are AC and Zelda. I personally do not play AC anymore because they’re only continuing it as a way of making money and threw the story out of the window and its all over the place. Also, Connor was a whiny bitch. I never play games with female characters because, with the exception of JRPGs, the women are annoying as hell. Take Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite – yeah, no thank you, she’s annoying as f–k. Most women in games that aren’t in JRPGs are annoying. Oh, and look, this is a woman saying that. Imagine that.

            It’s a personal opinion, yours certainly is not representative of the female gaming community, so do please stop acting as though you’re representing the entire gender – it makes you look stupid.

          • This.

            I have played online with a few girls before on the likes of COD and a little bit of Halo Reach but not much else. I wonder whether this 48% of gamers are like my mum playing casino games on her mobile or other casual games like that.

          • If you have a clothing store with 99% women’s clothing and 1% mens. 99% of your clients are going to be women, but only an idiot would interpret that as meaning that a majority of men just aren’t interested in clothing.

            Do the majority of the women you know show no interest in video games because of their genetalia, or because a majority of video games are targeted at men in the first place?

            It’s a chicken or the egg kind of debate. Do fewer women play action games because of some cultural or genetic predisposition? Or do fewer women play action games because a majority of them star men?

            It’s my personal opinion that the latter is true. I believe that including a broader range of gender choices would grow the industry a lot. Are developers missing out of another 50% of their sales by only targeting 50% of the population? I believe so. But I could be completely wrong. It’s just my opinion.

          • From everything my partner says it’s got nothing to do with what sex you play as and more to do with game mechanics/story/art style.

          • My ex wife was the opposite. She loved Halo and all kinds of action games. She was really excited to play Red Dead when she saw me in multiplayer as a woman cause she thought the game started a woman, but her enthusiasm waned when she found out you were a man in the campaign.

            I’m not suggesting Rockstar should have included the option to toggle John Marsden’s private parts. Just sharing my conflicting anecdotal experience. I totally believe more female protagonists will equal more female players. Another interesting question is, would more female protagonists equal less male players? I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

          • This is just ignoring the fact they would have to change a story and how other characters react. You don’t ask the same thing of an author.

          • Great analogy. I dig it.

            Somewhat related note, none of my 7 ex girlfriends have showed any interest in gaming. Likewise save but a couple, none of my (somewhat extensive) group of female friends show any real interest either. Save but mobile gaming, they all pretty much do it to some extent. I’ve asked a number of them if they’d be interested if had a female lead and none of them were.

            Take those stats with a grain of salt. I’m not trying to imply anything, just telling you my story and a complete lack of female friends that are really into gaming. I’m hanging out with the ‘wrong’ people.

          • That could be the boy’s club effect. I HATE buzz terms like boy’s club but hear me out.

            I began studying my children’s services diploma in order to work in day care. I was literally the only guy in all of the classes. At no point was I discouraged or ostracised. All of the women were rely welcoming to me (most believed that more males in the industry would eventually equate to higher award wages) but it didn’t matter, it was hard to shake the feeling that I didn’t belong, that I was out of place. And there was the cultural pressure to, there was the feeling that it wasn’t a man’s trade. It was a really challenging time and it took some degree of willpower to stick it through.

            I wonder if it’s the same for women and gaming. I wonder if they see the lines of men at midnight launches, the shelves of box art featuring a majority of men, and I wonder if there’s that general feeling that they’re out of place, like it’s not a feminine hobby.

            I wonder is there has been a cultural programming that has seeped into our minds over the years.

          • @shadow

            There’s no doubt an element of that. The girls I know that do game (and I mean on a console/PC) don’t like going to midnight launches for that reason.

            On the other hand, the stats being thrown around sadly don’t line up with my personal experiences. I would probably say half my friends are female and I work with more females than males in my industry. Besides those 2 examples, none are into gaming at all. In fact the majority cringe when I talk about it. 🙁

          • @shadow

            Not defending the original point, just trying to objectively gather stats here: If I was to look at the demographics of Kotaku, which is the most inclusive gaming website around that I know of, there is no way a 50/50 split in gender. And there’s no reason for it not to be, if the reality was that the split of people interested in games is actually 50/50.

            It correlates much more with my experience in life where the percentage is significantly smaller than 50%. I’m also not defending Ubisoft. I’m just just trying to understand why they make the marketing decisions they make.

            Because for me it’s simple logic: Make a male protagonist: Get say X% of the market. Make a female/choice, you get an extra 10%, 20%, or whatever more at no real cost to your base demographic.

            I would be very, very surprised if the cost to add a female character (both time/budget) would be more than the profit from including them.

            Besides being a nice thing to do, it makes a hell of a lot of business sense to add female protagonists to AAA titles.

          • For sure, outside of my personal circle, a lot less women I know are interested in gaming. But it has been changing. When I was in high school some 17+ years ago, female gamers flat out did not exist. And nowadays, it’s a lot different, gamer girls are more and more common. I think these things will naturally evolve and iron out over time. Perhaps there will always be more male gamers, perhaps there won’t, only time will tell.

          • You’d be surprised. I actually know quite a lot of them, so they are definitely out there. Just because they don’t hang out at EB doesn’t mean they don’t exist (in fact most of the ones I know tend to avoid EB so they don’t get hit on by mouth breathers all the time).

            My wife probably plays more games than I do, and from just about every genre there is. She plays MMOs, MOBAs, shooters, racers, action games, RPGs, puzzle games, fighting games…pretty much everything (except strategy games =P). She’s usually the one harping on me to play something rather than the other way around.

            The one thing I’d really like to point out, is that even though she still plays a lot of games with male leads (it’s hard not to), pretty much any decent game that lets her play as a female is an instabuy. She loves games like Tomb Raider and Mass Effect for exactly this reason. Ironically, the only Assassin’s Creed she’s ever been interested in playing is Liberation, purely because it has a female protagonist.

            It’s really easy to point to the larger number of guys that play the big AAA titles and say that girls are less interested in gaming, but I genuinely believe that more girls would actually play if developers were willing to take the time to cater to them.

          • Exactly this. My girlfriend was heartbroken when she learned South Park: Stick of Truth wouldn’t let her make a female avatar, something I’m pretty sure most women assumed they’d be able to do from the start. She still finished it before me.

          • I think the question on the devs/pubs mind is “would less guys play?” & “would the market still be the same or worse?”. I think it’s more fear based staying than of actually trying to seek out the market.

          • There’s your problem sweetie. You’re hanging out in EB and expecting to see the ladies there. How about you try talking to some actual women here on Kotaku?

            PS – I’ve never played the sims. Like, ever.

          • Usually hiding. I’m a female gamer and 90 percent of the time, other gamers assume I’m a guy. I let them think that. I don’t correct them. This behavior is very common with female gamers. We generally hide to avoid disrespect and hostility from the general community. It’s just not worth the effort and easier to not reveal gender.

          • That 48% is the worst statistic ever in this context.

            All it proves is that most people under 50 play some form of games and that the percentage of people who avoid them entirely is *slightly* higher for women.

            Ever been to a game launch, LAN party or games show where 48% of the people there were women?

          • If you include all games of all kinds, sure. Don’t ever get into marketing or advertising chap.

          • Yeah, 48% when you count in tablets and phones as consoles then use it to argue concerning console exclusives.

          • And that all males want to play as males! The only time I’ve ever chosen a male avatar over a female one was Ellis in L4D. For reasons.

          • I liked the look of zoey in l4d so I didn’t mind playing as her. I personally don’t like playing females… rather I prefer to play males in online games, as I think other players might act differently and I also don’t like to accentuate feminism due to personal insecurities.

  • There were some interesting female characters in most assassins creed games and all the ones with multiplayer there were playable females as well.

    No matter how they phrase it, it is a step backward and a telling indication of an industry that marginalises women when cutting playable females is even on the table as a budget cut

    • Would need to rebuild entire animation networks for it to work as well as having recorded a whole new set of dialogue for the female.

      • And the argument is that the amount of money they spend on the game and the number of people involved should have made that expense fairly trivial.

        • If you’re a female playing Unity and you’re forced to play as a male because of time and budgetary reasons, it’s gonna be a slap in the face every time you notice a tiny detail in the world like an animal wandering the streets, a whirl of dust or an NPC performing a unique animation. You’d be thinking “they had time for that, but not my gender?”

          • I would argue that those other things give life to the world (one that also includes female NPCs) and is something additive to pleasing the sensation of existing in that world (as a player character, players rarely just stand there and look at themselves as opposed to their environment), and that playing as a lead female character does not necessarily add the same weight for the amount of work they would need to add.

            It’s not a slap in the face at all if women can simply adjust to the fact that they wanted to tell a story with male lead, or the fact that a whirl of dust or animals requires less work than making sure a female rig, animations, voice acting, etc., etc. work all throughout the entire game without issue.

            There’s a reason why you notice most NPCs in games like this having repeated animations before you even finish the game, and it’s the same reason they are not going to implement an optional female lead character in the game, all for the sake of choice.

      • Surely it can’t be that difficult? Mass Effect and Dragon Age didn’t have a problem with male/female dialogue, and those games are VERY heavy on the dialogue. As for animations, if Saint’s Row can let you play as any number of combinations of thin, obese, athletic male or female custom characters, then why is a singular female model such hard work?

        • Except that they were designed for you to have the choice of gender and appearance from the ground up (unlike ever ass creed game which has a set protag), not in the testing stage of their dev cycle.

    • But strong female characters! They’ve taken time out to tell us there’s strong female NPCs in the game, that counts – right?

      Hate that the industry is at a point where “Strong Female characters” is a selling point. It’s bad enough trying to convince my 7yo Daughter that there’s nothing wrong with being a girl without having the media/rest of the world tell her otherwise.

  • I think people need to spare a thought for the writers and the pressure the team is under to get a massive game like this out of the gate. People are watching way to much sensationalist crop like the jimquisition, production of games is a perilous industry where publishers regularly collapse and that reality realy does to an extent tie a lot of people’s hands together. The fact ubi had it on the drawing board is a testament to how seriously they take gender issues. It’s art, it’s a business, it’s economics and all those elements sometimes require concessions. How about saying, we appreciate as gamers that alternative direction and please consider your original idea in the future.

  • Is it really a controversy?

    Also I bet once they include a female assassin (in a major game) there will be another “controversy” of having a woman kill people or having her in danger of being killed. There’s no way to win. Just have a talking pie as an assassin.

    • Considering that gears of war nerfing their shotgun can be considered rage-worthy by most bro-gamers, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for gamers (male or female) to be annoyed that Ubisoft have removed the ability for someone to play as their preferred gender.

      And yes this is a controversy, and it needs to be talked about. This particular issue is not the end of the world no, but the broader issue of the bad representation of women in games is important. You might be tired of hearing every complaint about sexism, but try to suck it up because right now developers NEED to be brought up on things like this so that hopefully they’ll eventually understand that as many girls play their games as guys do. They aren’t trying to ruin gaming for you, they are just tired of being made to feel unwelcome by a hobby they love.

      So try to be a bit more mindful about it if you can, Shithead.

      • If the Uplay, xbl, psn and steam data says that the (vast) majority of their players are male, you can kind of dismiss the whole “as many girls play their games as guys do”. If it were close to parity between the sexes we wouldn’t be having this discussion, they would have made that a priority back in the design stage… Right?

        EDIT: I would love to play as a female, I do whenever I’m given the choice.

        • Firstly, if there was a larger percentage of gamers being male but the female audience appeared to be growing rapidly, then wouldn’t it make financial sense for these companies to be more accomodating to women in order to expand into a new market and greatly increase their sales potential?

          And secondly, research shows that almost 50% of gamers are women. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/gaming/2013/06/12/women-50-percent-gaming-audience/2411529/ Whether you want to balance that out between casual gaming or not is nit-picking, as regardless girls are playing games and have a right to take an active interest in how they are represented by their hobby.

          • I can see your points as they are good ones, but:

            Whether you want to balance that out between casual gaming or not is nit-picking, as regardless girls are playing games and have a right to take an active interest in how they are represented by their hobby

            I couldn’t care less how males or females are represented in casual/mobile games. I hope that that has little to no influence over console and pc games. So yeah I guess I’m nit-picking.

            wouldn’t it make financial sense for these companies to be more accomodating to women in order to expand into a new market and greatly increase their sales potential?

            Yeah it would, but my partner points out that when she want’s to play a game it’s for the same reason we play games. Story, perspective, mechanics, art style. Not the sex of the character that she plays as. That’s just one “girl gamers” perspective though, may not represent the majority.

            For the record, I’m playing the devils avocado. I think it’s insanely lame that for “budget reasons” you can’t play as female, but I get that AC games have always had the one protag. So if the story is written that way… But Mass Effect did it just fine, so really no excuses other than their demo being male in the vast majority. And that somehow meaning we (males) would rather play as a male (I wouldn’t).

          • I really hope ‘devil’s avocado’ was an intentional spelling and not autocorrect. Hahaha, devil’s avocado, made me laugh hard!!!

          • Yeah, it was me ripping off that comedy tv show from the early-mid 2000s. Can’t remember what it was called but one line in it was always the guy trying to get people to “put a sticker on it”…

            EDIT: Ever since I saw that I don’t think I’ve once used the word advocate. Permanently swapped it in my brain, for many a smiles/moans over the years.

        • I tend to think that if the stats for games show that a vast majority of your customers are male, the dumb move is to commit harder to appealing to your existing demographic. If 50% of the human population don’t seem to be showing interest in your product, the last thing I’d be doing would be marginalising them even more. I’d be pushing harder to potentially double sales.

          • Kinda covered this in the reply above, but the girl gamers I know couldn’t care less about the sex of the avatar on screen and more about the story/mechanics/perspective/art.

            For the record, I don’t believe an AC game with a female protag would sell or be worse, but clearly Ubi does.

          • It makes you wish we could explore alternate realities and answer these questions doesn’t it? I’d love to know how things would be different if you toyed with the genders of famous franchises, if at all.

          • Exactly this dude! If anything publishers are missing out on a market that they could help drive/develop. From a purely business perspective, more women playing = more sales. At least that should drive them to develop more games with female protagonists.

      • I don’t understand the logic here seriously, the assassins creed franchise has never had a gender choice for the main character, you play as a character and play through their story if that character is a male or female is irrelevant.

        I swear if they didn’t even talk about it would have been better.

  • The only thing they should have scuttled is the decision to tell people about cutting female characters due to budget. Every dev has the right to develop the game they want and decide what characters are available to play as, but telling your female demographic that your entire gender’s absence was a cost saving measure is just asking for a roasting. I think if they kept their mouth shut about it they wouldn’t be copping flak.

      • Or just go the opposite route and say something purposefully offensive like “we just don’t think a female form could reasonably perform the actions out male assassins do because they’re generally more physically inferior”

        Then we could really get some popcorn out.

  • Ubisoft should at least get some credit for the fact that they’ve featured female assassins as leads in their previous games (their B-games though), but that still doesn’t justify them cutting out playable female characters in Multiplayer when they’ve already set the expectation in their games since Brotherhood.

    • Not to mention their first game starred a Muslim. They have been a company that represents diversity.

      • I agree they’ve been pretty good on the diversity front. Altair being a Muslim is actually a really good point. Which makes the fact they still can’t handle including a woman even more boggling.

  • Boobies take a lot of work to get right. My 3 main co op partners will be female and tthey will be disapointed for sure

  • Damn it – and here I was hoping I could play Tomb Raider as a dude. Lara Croft is no real reflection of myself so I am upset. Surely by now, Tomb Raider could have a male playable character.
    I don’t understand why the world is so PC and sensitive.
    Here is a better statement:
    I agree there is an overwhelming majority towards male-playable characters in games. I agree that games that do have female playable characters are usually over-sexualised. BUT the answer is not in AC providing a choice but more developers making unique games with female leads!
    C’mon, how is Ubisoft really to blame here by not providing choice – this is a ridiculous redirection of a problem to a single game, single developer when the problem is industry wide. This is not a great example of the problem.

    • I think the issue is more that they honestly thought about including a female playable character and then scrapped the idea. Not only that, but they tried to cite budget concerns as the reason. Feels a little… weak.

      EDIT: Not even a female lead, just a plain old playable character. Which makes it even more insulting.

  • The thought occurs to me that the root cause of developers being reluctant to include women/black/asian/gay -all kinds of diverse leads/characters is the fear of loss of sales. (Obviously.) So is there any actual proof that including more diverse characters in games can directly result in a loss of sales or profit? Or is it that developers just aren’t willing to take the risk and try to break the ancient, shitty mould that most modern games seem to be cast from?

    Then I remember that there are more than a few dudebro bigot dipshit retards out there that probably would boycott/smear campaign a game for featuring such things. Most of us here talking about it in a civil fashion are open minded and pushing for change, but what about the moron masses – which potentially make up more of the sales percentage?

    Not saying a developer is right to not take risks (why is it even a risk?) and try to move the industry forward – more wondering if some of the blame should be shared with some of gaming’s less enlightened consumers, as well as the gutless devs that refuse to move out of the 90’s.

    The devs should be continually called out on this stuff until they get it. They will, eventually. Just wondering if there’s some way to try and advance the average consumer’s ideas along with it. Maybe I’m just being optimistic, but it’s a thought.

  • That statement just reads like “I can’t be racist because one of my friends is [insert race being insulted here]”

    • Nope, and it’s fucking stupid of you to even try to equate a statement about not to including a female character in a game to racism.

      They aren’t even close to the same. Not the same issue, not the same offence, not the same anything.
      The only thing they could possibly have in common is that both issues attract the same kinds of people looking to be offended by everything.

      It’s an economic decision that they’ve made based on time and budgetary limitations and their knowledge of the expected audience. It’s got fuck all to do with racism, misogyny, homophobia or any other form of discrimination.

      • I’m saying it’s the same pattern of statement, not the same level of problem. Settle down.

        • I will, it just bothers me when people make statements like that.
          It belittles actual issues and more importantly, it’s really unfair and offensive to the person issuing the original statement.

          “Sony’s statement earlier in the week denying cancellation of The Last Guardian was very similar to when the president of Iran denied the holocaust ……” – Crazyness

          If it’s got nothing to do with the subject then don’t try to tie issues together.

  • Well this is entirely fair, I mean what were they supposed to do, not copy & paste assets like lazy bastards? Actually use some development resources to enrich the game with more choices to reflect historical reality and appeal to a wider audience?

    We’re asking too much, this is madness!!!

  • Assassin’s Creed is developed by a multicultural team of various faiths and beliefs
    How is this relevant? If anything it’s worse given most “faiths and beliefs” tend to be fairly sexist too. Hey, we’re sexist, but at least we also subscribe to sexist religious dogmas!

    Would prefer my games to be made by atheists…

  • It’s ironic that in an article about the reason why Ubisoft isn’t putting a female lead in their games, the *actual* reason is most clearly demonstrated in the comments.

    So much insecure penis waving going on in here. Exactly the same as the female oriented lego set article from a few days ago.

    I’m sorry, but your arguments about ‘demographics’ and ‘this isn’t a big deal [for me]’ are very immature and are ignoring the broader issues in society [not just gaming].

  • A nice in-depth story that takes gender into account and involves it in the depth.

    Ability to choose gender.

    Pick one.

  • Why should there be a female lead in the story?

    The Terminator wasn’t female. Heck, neither was the Hulk, or Captain America.

    Ubisoft have written a story and cast the lead as a male. Deal with it. If you don’t like it, don’t whine – just don’t buy the game. I applaud Ubisoft for not bowing to the ‘demographic’ argument – it’s their story, their game – they can present it however the hell they want.

  • I would have no problem playing one of these games as a female character. The only issue is, for the times and settings. For the combat and style of play, would it make sense?

  • Instead of appreciating a great game people bitching about female characters. Idiots.

  • Would a female character have required more production effort because the 4 male characters are functionally identical? That sounds a little boring.

  • Doesn’t matter about the demographic. What about just for the sake of diversity? Shake it up a little with the option of female leads of all colours.

  • “Sure, we can create a 1:1 scale replica of Notre Dame. But don’t you know how much it would cost to animate a woman?”

    Come on, Ubisoft. You can do better than that.

    • You guys complained about ac4 too. Which had sold a lot and was a great game. This is better and will sell more. I couldnt care any less about female characters.

      • Hey I guess if a game sells well it couldn’t possibly be socially problematic in any way. Nor is it conceivable for something to have fun gameplay in an interesting and beautiful setting, while also existing in a broader industry context of underrepresentation of women.

        That said I don’t recall complaining about AC4. Great game. I’m still having a grand time getting in pirate ship fights.

  • Given that a lot of games are delayed past the original announcement of a release date, I don’t see this excuse as being valid in any way. IMO.

  • To be completely fair here, I’d like a male option for the new Tomb Raiders, Mirror’s Edge 2, Metroid, BloodRayne, and any future games where female protagonists are primarily expected to lead the games narrative and direction.

    Because, hey, if everyone wants fairness, then that’s a two way street.

    • It is a two way street but I think it’s safe to assume men are represented enough in games already.

  • female gamer here. i tried playing AC and i actually got bored with it… i honestly wouldn’t have had any problems with there being no females in AC, however, it was the lousy statement Ubisoft made that got the attention of females. If they had kept their mouth shut instead of saying “animating boobs is hard so we’re not doing it” they wouldn’t have gotten so much heat… but yes, i find AC boring, i’d rather play Mass Effect, Halo, or GTA so i could care less about females being in AC

  • Ubisoft is charging $90 for the Gold Edition of their game while providing us with excuses for why they cannot afford to offer playable female characters in their co-op because it’s too much work. Does that make sense?

  • @shadow: “If you have a clothing store with 99% women’s clothing and 1% mens. 99% of your clients are going to be women, but only an idiot would interpret that as meaning that a majority of men just aren’t interested in clothing.”

    I completely agree with this sentiment. As a female gamer, I play almost all of the first and third person shooters. As passionate as I am about hardcore gaming, I’m often turned off by the unwelcome anti-female atmosphere of these hardcore games. For example, recently there was a Call of Duty trailer released that featured men being “CoDnapped” from their cars. It was misogynistic and basically the message was that female gamers are not welcome to play CoD. Those of us who do play these games play them despite this hostility toward our gender. With female characters constantly oversexualized combined with being insulted repetitively while we play games because the narratives are often sexist, it can be hard to get through these games. It can be even harder to justify forking up cash to pay for these games and support developers who appear to actively hate women.

    We love the games but the sexism can be a deal breaker. I’m sure if women were treated half as well as male gamers, there would be a lot more of us in the fray in hardcore gaming. Instead it’s a wildly unfriendly place for the rare female gamer who comes forth and declares herself female. It’s easier to hide and pretend you’re a man. Less stressful. The truth is that many male gamers want to make the video game world a place that objectifies women in the extreme. They want to make it their world, at the exclusion of female gamers and developers are catering to that, money be damned.

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