Ubisoft face sexism claims over Assassin’s Creed Unity

Assassins Creed Unity Screen Cap 1

The game won’t feature a female playable character

During an interview posted on Polygon Ubisoft's creative director Alex Amancio has stirred up a new row over sexism in gaming by stating there’ll be no female playable avatar in their much anticipated Assassin’s Creed Unity game.

When asked if it would be possible to play as a female assassin Amancio replied,

“To be very honest,we originally had planned to have female assassins in the game. And essentially we ran into the reality of production. It's double the animations, double the voices, all that stuff, double the visual assets.”

“It was a lot of extra production work,” he added , especially as the game has customisable avatars.”

An uproar from gamers has lead to criticism that Ubisoft are being sexist and continuing the unbalanced representation of women in games. Despite the AAA giant having 10 studios working on the project they maintain the strain on production would be beyond even them. Talking to videogamer Ubisoft technical director James Therien reiterated that a female assassin had been considered,

"It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it's a question of focus and production," Therien explained. "So we wanted to make sure we had the best experience for the character. A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes... It would have doubled the work on those things. And I mean it's something the team really wanted, but we had to make a decision... It's unfortunate, but it's a reality of game development."

The line from Ubisoft is that despite customisation options for your Avatar you are always playing as the character Arno, a male. In a statement from Ubisoft they highlight this and the fact they do have some strong female characters in the Assassin's Creed games,

"We recognise 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."

What are you thoughts on the issue? Do you buy Ubisoft’s story that adding a female Arno would be too much work? You can use the comments section below to have your say.

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