New Assassin's Creed Changes Series' Signature Message About Diversity

New Assassin's Creed Changes Series' Signature Message About Diversity

Since the first Assassin's Creed in 2007, games in Ubisoft's history-hopscotching series have always begun with an on-screen message about the diversity of the people who made the game. You see it as the game boots up, before you can play anything. For this year's Assassin's Creed Syndicate, the ninth major release in the series, that message has been changed.

Added in is an affirmation that the team behind this game consisted of people of various sexual orientations and gender identities.

The diversity message had always talked about the dev team being multicultural and diverse in beliefs. Here is it from the first game:

New Assassin's Creed Changes Series' Signature Message About Diversity

The message's appearance in the original Assassin's Creed was a refreshing expression of the dev team's mix, but likely was also included to head off any concerns that the game's subject matter had been handled lightly. This was a game set during the Crusades after all, with the player controlling an assassin born from a Muslim father and a Christian mother.

Subsequent Assassin's Creed games have involved fighting an evil Pope, rescuing enslaved people, and the treatment of Native Americans by George Washington and friends. They were not exactly shying away from controversy there and had good reason to let people starting the game think about the dev team as a diverse group of people.

Here is that diversity message from last year's Assassin's Creed Unity:

New Assassin's Creed Changes Series' Signature Message About Diversity

And, again, here is it is from this year's Syndicate:

New Assassin's Creed Changes Series' Signature Message About Diversity

See the changes?

The bit about religious diversity is gone, though seems suitably covered by the retention of the line about beliefs. Added is the note about the team including people of various sexual orientations and gender identities. It's not clear why it was added, though this game is the series' first to include a transgender character. There have been gay supporting characters in some previous AC games.

Ubi's note here isn't exhaustive of all desirable diversity. Obviously there are many other life experiences a message like this could include. Perhaps we'd like our art to be made by people of widely different ages or economic status.

The change in the language in this year's game shows an expansion of Ubi's progressive expression with the series. It's a mild but unmissable message that having diversity of many types is a valuable thing, that people's differences are a strength. Diversity isn't a prerequisite to quality, as fans of the AC series well know, but it's hard to argue that it's not worth having.


    iirc the message was never about diversity but more about Ubi covering their arses due to pretty high religious tension at that point of time when Assassins Creed first came out, what with it being set in Jersulem during the time of the crusades. Basically doing the exact same thing South Park does at the start every show. Remember you never see this message in the farcry series nor in watchdogs or rainbow six or splinter cell, only in assassins creed because of how much religion plays a part in the story

      Indeed, the earlier games were very anti-christian. Especially the one with the evil pope, lol. I thought this message was obviously in relation to this, it was never a message of "hey we are all super derverse and we made this game together HUGS".

      Last edited 24/10/15 8:52 pm

        I don't think depicting Rodrigo de Borgia as being a little on the villainous side would be particularly controversial, regardless of a persons faith.

        Last edited 24/10/15 10:50 pm

        How did you get anything anti-Christian from the earlier games? I think they did a good job of portraying the Templars as a seperate entity using the church and crusades, rather than a product of. Same for the Assassins and their Islamic history.

        Rodrigo as the evil pope had almost no religious commentary beyond the fact that he was the pope. The fact he infiltrated the church as a means of power was clear from playing the game, his guards were still the Borgia thugs you see throughout the game.

        There are strong undertones of extremism, control etc, but you never fight against a religion.

          The message I think was not about what actually happened in the game play, but rather what people perceive things to be occurring , whether it is the truth or not.

          It is easy to take bullet points of the plots and assume it is anti- religious. To head off that criticism, the loading message was put at the start of the game.

          Syndicate is set in Industrial England, where religious diversity or conflict was not such an obvious point. That's probably why they changed the message.

          Sure, they could have just left it out. But I'm sure some marketing guy thought it was a good idea to change it to what it is now, from a PR perspective.

          I'd rather they just did not say anything. The current message seems a bit, well, unnecessary if not redundant or arrogant. :-(

          The whole thing is about rich powerful people making up laws and rules because they think they are better than society and know what is best for all. They also happen to be the Christians in the earlier games and the game also has pretty heavy digs at religion being fake, if you remember all the stuff with Adam and eve and etc. You never fight against a religion because the games plot is that Christianity is fake and based on a bunch of the predecessors or whatever the game calls them. Instead your fighting people who are using the fake religion to guide or direct humanity.

          Saying assassins creed isnt anti religion and is only about "extremists" is a laugh, its core message, the creed itself, is about thinking for yourself and not letting others rules or morality control you.

          Last edited 25/10/15 11:52 am

            I said undertones of extremism, not extremists in the context you are implying, nor that it was only about that.
            The Assassins began as a religious group with their own fierce and extreme beliefs/practices. The reason it fell the first time was because it became splintered.

            There is no question of religious undertones but it's as you say, about evil men and control. Just because religion is used along side industry, class division, politics etc, it's just part of the bigger picture and not a defining attribute.

              The assasins began as a religious group, being controled by someone pretending to be religious. Christianity is clearly pointed to as being fake on numerous occasions, adam and eve being members of the predecessor race and the garden being a machine/ship of predecessor design. The pieces of eden being the "true" miracles, just technology that wasnt understood by people of the day. I don't see how that can be taken as anything other than anti-religious. I'm not saying that in a bad way, just it is what it is - despite your beliefs in the real world, In the assassins creed story and games, christianity is fake.

              Last edited 25/10/15 2:30 pm

    too bad they can't spread that diversity to the gameplay.

      They better hurry, they are running out of historic periods where hay carts litter the streets lol

    Can we have this reflected in the quality of the narrative, please? Never seen a safer, irrelevant representation of actual, horrific historical events.

    Think people are reading into it too much.
    Pretty sure the message in the earlier games was because of how anti-christian the games message was.

    I just wish you could skip the message, or only have it play the first time you boot the game - it gets irritating to see every single time you play.

    I think for them "gender identities" is a reminder "oh yeah, it took a while but we remembered girls exist again"

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now