Assassin’s Creed: Unity Won’t Include Women Because Ubisoft Says They Aren’t “Relevant.”

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The shapely, svelte elephant who has freakishly large breasts, a firm ass with Kardashian-like measurements, and a waist that makes even the most devoted thinspiration blogger cry in envy.

Adding chicks in video games, amirite?

I mean, it’s so hard to render them. It’s so hard to create them, and it’s expensive to figure out their outfits and hair and voices, and movements…. what major release could POSSIBLY have the resources to do that?

world of warcraft female 1

Let’s see, every MMORPG of recent memory, Mirror’s Edge, The Last of Us (cause you could take control of Ellie for a little bit), the new inFAMOUS DLC, Saint’s Row V (you wanna talk about an in-depth character creation module), Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat X…

Oh Ubisoft, you’re so stupid. When talking about Assassin’s Creed: Unity, I cannot believe that you stood up at E3, especially in a conference full of journalists who are having conversations about women in nerd culture, and said the dumbest thing that could have ever come out of your mouths.

It’s double the animations, it’s double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets, especially because we have customizable assassins. It was really a lot of extra production work.”

Alex Amancio, the voice delivering this news, seemed certain that this mansplination would do the trick.

Dude. Double the work? Like TheMarySue, I was CERTAIN that these fancy customizable assassins would encompass the breadth of technology of dolly dress-up, so I was looking forward to the uniqueness that each body type, stature, height, weight, and other characteristics would encompass.

worldofwarcraft2

Oh, wow, Ubisoft. You’ve totally outdone yourself there. Every one of those dollies look SOOOOOOOOO different.

sarcasticbear

I mean, even a big name animation director like Naughty Dog’s Jonathan Cooper is calling out Ubisoft on his twitter, saying what all of us geek girls and guys in the world are thinking:

coopertweet

Amancio is now backpedaling this morning, saying that it’s not a matter of resources, nor a matter of philosophy, but rather a matter of practicality and relevance. Because in this installment, you’re playing a Frenchman in the revolution, you don’t need tits getting in the way. And we all know there have never been ANY female French assassins… Again, H/T to the Mary Sue for pointing out this already in the above article.

It’s important to note that, at first, Ubisoft presented a united front in this regard based on the idea that “A female assassin would have necessitated more than 8,000 new animations recreated on a new skeletal structure” and that “Playable female characters were ‘dear to the production team.’”

Now, all of a sudden, Amancio says that they AREN’T dear to the the production team, because Jesus Christ, man, everyone knows the French women weren’t out fighting for the revolution and historically sat around with unshaved armpits gossiping about Marie Antoinette.

In fact, they are applauding themselves with this bullshit Republican non-apology release:

“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.”

To sum up: “Listen y’all, some of our best friends are black, and we’ve got chicks in the game that you can do more to than just fuck, so get off our backs! Christ…. is this still on? G-d, these fucking fatass women gamers… they don’t know ANYTHING about gaming… how dare they think they can bully us into something? They need to get back in the kitchen and keep their mouths wrapped around my cock…oh wait…that was live? Shit!”

Because I’m a little sensitive over the inclusion of women, or hell, even a person of color as a protag in video games (you know, to represent the very real statistic that 48% of women play video games), I wanted to level check. And what I found was that my righteous anger is well placed.

One gamer states, “I’m a female gamer. I don’t do pc games. I’m straight console. From Tetris to Tomb Raider to Final Fantasy to Zelda to Dragon Age. I’ve got my favorite pink PS3 controller and my awesome 3DS. I am the girl who buys games for my boyfriend just to steal them. And dude, I am PISSED.”

Another woman said, “Shared information about this on my Wall yesterday. My comment was, “as a geek girl gamer and mother/MIL of same, I find the attitudes expressed by Ubisoft to justify their decision to be very offensive. I’ve not gotten involved in the AC franchise, and this latest announcement by the developers ensures that I will not be giving it a try in the future.” IOW, Ubisoft is full of it…”

Finally, this woman summed it up very nicely with, “Clearly, since [rendering female characters is] so terribly difficult, companies like gearbox and bioware need to be applauded for all that hard work creating female playables. Bless their hearts!” Gotta admit, I included this because of the palpable twang in “Bless Their Hearts.” Ubisoft, I’ll tell you what took me six months to figure out — that phrase is NOT a compliment.

Ubisoft, here’s your chosen demographic’s response. Russ Matthews, a legit geek guy, who’s also a legit feminist, says it more eloquently than a lot of the guys I’ve been talking to.

“I am legitimately considering boycotting AC: Unity unless Ubisoft promises that the next game has a playable female character. And not one that sashays around in period lingerie and stabs people while having sex with them. Real, legit storylines. And given how faithful I have been to this franchise, that is saying something.”

Remember how I said that my dollars could be withheld? I’ll gladly drop the money on Contrast, or a second rate standalone, but if Ubisoft thinks they are getting another dime out of me or my family (and all four of us are gamers), they are sadly mistaken. They can ask how much money I have given to Mel Gibson since his anti-semitic rants (not one penny) to find out how long I hold a grudge.

Sure, Gibson doesn’t know and is still filthy rich. Ubisoft might not care that I’m not buying from them ever again, but based on what I’m seeing, Ubisoft might need some lessons on how to handle PR nightmares.

Al Miller
Resident nerd, glitter goth, and reluctant adult, Al has been writing about the things that make her heart sing for over a decade. She also handles the social media management for The Flounce. Need to have some questions answered or maybe discuss some PR for your upcoming indie game or geek culture project? Want to see if you're soulmates and discuss pizza toppings? Questions about pitching or contributing? email at allison@theflounce.com No dick pics, please.
http://theflounce.com
  • http://www.theflounce.com AlexisO

    Extra production work? What?

    I keep trying to type a follow up sentence to that but I just can’t think of anything besides “What??”

    • the_mouse_

      The game doesn’t make itself. People actually have to build the models for each character, then program the motions, the design clothing for the models, program and build the clothing, etc., etc. I’m guessing you don’t know much about 3D graphics, right?

      “What??” is right, since it’s good enough that you “feel” you understand the amount of time and effort that goes into building dynamic 3D environments.

  • Gabriel

    Ubisoft never said they weren’t relevant you deceptive liar.

    There’s only one main character who you see yourself as and who your friends see themselves as. You, on the other hand see your Co-op friends as differently-dressed characters, avoiding confusion over who’s who in Co-op mode. Why is that concept so hard to grasp?

    • botenana

      Hey, thanks for being so positive in your feedback – Here’s where Ubisoft said they weren’t relevant – “”I understand the issue, I understand the cause, and it is a noble one, but I don’t think it’s relevant in the case of Unity,” he (Alex Amancio) said. That was in an interview to Eurogamer magazine. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-06-12-i-understand-the-issue-but-its-not-relevant-in-assassins-creed-unity

      The context there, in the full quote, is because the game is set in the French revolution, and you are playing a Frenchman, it isn’t relevant to have a woman character.

      Three major gaming sites have released this quote as a lead, you sly minx you. I notice you haven’t called any of them deceptive liars!

      As far as the co-op mode, this article didn’t touch ANYTHING on that aspect. This is commentary regarding the fact that Ubisoft promised women characters as a playable aspect and then took them away with a bullshit excuse that first it wasn’t technically achievable, but when they were called out on that then they came up with a historical context bullshit argument.

      So, Gabriel.. capitalizing on some video game cred with your screen name? Your comments are aggressively dickwolfish in nature, so good show there. Hope that clears up your fanatical ideals of “deception”! See you later on /r/mensrights!

      • http://theflounce.com Jen Pink

        I died.

      • Gabriel

        Exactly how do you know I’ve not called any of them deceptive liars, you idiot?

        There’s a huge difference in saying the issue is irrelevant and saying women as a whole are irrelevant. I’m guessing you’re one of those who’ll come forward with the “Almost 50% of gamers are females” line, right? When tablets and mobiles whose games have almost nothing to do with gender are considered consoles and then used as leverage to argue concerning representation in games, right?

        Ubisoft just gave you a playable female character, and they shouldn’t hinder their scope because they feel obliged to give you a female character for the sake of it. You’d rather see a female character shoe-horned for the sake of it? Can’t say I’m surprised. I don’t get what all this fuss is about and I’m very sure most people jumping on this bandwagon have hardly played any Assassin’s Creed games.

        P.S: You won’t see me in “r/mensrights.” I however, am quite sure you’ll be there on tumblr wailing about trivial matters. You really think Ubisoft would come together and say, “we hate women, let’s scrap our idea of a playable female because of that.”

        I blame myself for paying that much attention to the excuse of the article you’ve written. After all, only one person besides me took the time to comment on this piece of rubbish.

        • http://theflounce.com Jen Pink

          I blame you, too. Especially after taking the time to comment more than twice. That’s a whole lot of angry.

          • Gabriel

            I have no words for you except that you’re a sheep. Let’s see where “I agree” gets you.

          • http://theflounce.com Jen Pink

            Baaaah

        • botenana

          I hope that you feel better after calling me “thick”, insinuating that you know everything and are better than me, and blatantly reinforcing every single thing that I have stated about being a woman writing about games. All that is missing is the standard “When I find you I’m going to rape you, you stupid fucking cunt for being such an ugly fat idiot who dared impugn on my beloved franchise and called them out on their bullshit” line.

          You seem extremely angry. I feel very bad for you. You are reading whatever you WANT to read and made it obvious with your first comment that you have no interest in an actual discussion.

          I never said that Ubisoft hates women. That’s YOUR inference because you’re a privileged man who doesn’t have to think about anything other than the next greatest hits on your insult lines – usually revolving around your superior intellect and how your geek cred is much better than anyone else’s because you know the roots of things.

          And as far as the whole comments = quality thing? Are you thick? Are you absolutely dimwitted? It doesn’t take anyone above average intelligence to know that comments don’t mean dick anymore. That on the internet, comment sections are associated with people like you, who feel the need to personally rip apart people to assuage your ego. (such as children who name themselves after serial killers)

          Dude, you stumbled across a blog site. One that hasn’t been promoted. One that is ran by a group of women who want to passionately talk about what they want to talk about. We’re more than happy to talk about things, but you don’t want to talk. You have internet tough guy disease and plainly obvious issues with anger and reasoning.

          I, too, blame you for holding onto anger when someone points out your fanatical argument. I also blame you for not being able to be wrong. I blame you for being such a nice guy and proving that not all men are angry when women make video game critiques.

          (Also, if you don’t want to seem like you’re part of the MR thing, try not using their textbook insult “tumblr feminist” line next time! =D )

          • Gabriel

            “When I find you I’m going to rape you, you stupid fucking cunt for being such an ugly fat idiot who dared impugn on my beloved franchise and called them out on their bullshit”
            Wow! Talk about putting words into one’s mouth. If you didn’t want me to call you a tumblr feminist, you wouldn’t have assumed I’m a “men’s rights activist.” Shows the discrepancy in how smart you THINK you are, and how smart you really are.

            I’m sure you think I’m a white American man. Newsflash: No, I’m not. I rarely bring up my ethnicity on the Internet but the fact that you think I’m talking because of “privilege” makes it a necessity. I’m a gamer that plays games because of what they are and not because I intend to bring in bloated statistics to argue my point.

            Lastly, why wouldn’t I be angry? You are spewing rubbish and bringing in an agenda where there should be none. Again I ask, why do you belittle releases on handheld consoles then go on to talk about how 48% of gamers are female when phones and tablets which have almost nothing to do with gender are counted as consoles in that flawed statistic?

          • Crisisinthewoods

            You reinforced the stereotypes by writing a piece that makes you worthy of the description of ‘thick’. Trust me, nobody wants uneducated, agenda-driven whiners ruining the reputation of the larger groups they belong to.

            Please, improve yourself.

          • the_mouse_

            Why is it that if someone insults your intelligence, they absolutely HAVE to be doing it because of your gender? Are being female and being a victim the only two components of your identity?

            >All that is missing is the standard “When I find you I’m going to rape you, you stupid fucking cunt for being such an ugly fat idiot who dared impugn on my beloved franchise and called them out on their bullshit” line.

            So no one has to say anything remotely like this for you to put the words in their mouths? Are any men ever allowed to disagree with you or is that inherently sexist and aggressive in your eyes?

            >I never said that Ubisoft hates women.
            And Gabriel never said you did, he asked you “You really think Ubisoft would come together and say, ‘we hate women, let’s scrap our idea of a playable female because of that.'” since you jumped from “I understand the issue, I understand the cause, and it is a noble one, but I don’t think it’s relevant in the case of Unity,” to “The context there, in the full quote, is because the game is set in the French revolution, and you are playing a Frenchman, it isn’t relevant to have a woman character.” With leaps of logic like, who the hell knows what you think?

            “That’s YOUR inference because you’re a privileged man who doesn’t have to think about anything other than the next greatest hits on your insult lines – usually revolving around your superior intellect and how your
            geek cred is much better than anyone else’s because you know the roots of things.”

            Since you’re assuming you understand what everyone else thinks, can I also assume that you are an entitled woman who thinks her emotions are the greatest truth in the world and that your life revolves around the moral high ground of being the victim? Or is it only okay when you do it?

            “That on the internet, comment sections are associated with people like you, who feel the need to personally rip apart people to assuage your ego…I, too, blame you for holding onto anger when someone points out your fanatical argument.”

            You realize that the you have been the one ensuring the discussion retains a venomously personal tone, don’t you? True, you were originally called a deceptive liar—rightly so since you jumped from “not relevant in the case of Unity” to “the French Revolution isn’t relevant to a woman character”—but you immediately took this as a signal to make accusations of “dickwolfishness” and alignment with /r/mensrights. You were criticized for your actions, and you responded by bringing in gender and ideological group identity. Can you treat other people in the way you claim you would like to be treated, or is vicious, hypocritical anger your only mode of thinking?

            “We’re more than happy to talk about things, but you don’t want to talk.” I wonder if looking into a mirror wouldn’t kill you on the spot.

      • Gabriel

        You sarcastically stated “Oh, wow, Ubisoft. You’ve totally outdone yourself there. Every one of those dollies look SOOOOOOOOO different.”

        That’s because they’re one and the same. All proof needed that you are thick but hey! I’m just glad you lot are only a vocal minority.

      • Capn

        You misinterpreted the intention of what he said- a mistake I hope. The issue is representation of women in video games. He said it isn’t relevant to Unity because Unity is about Arno. I expanded upon this idea more in my own comment.

      • the_mouse_

        He said the cause wasn’t relevant in the case of UNITY, the exact game in question. It is a story-driven game where the main character, an assassin, happens to be male. In Portal, the main character is female, and you have no choice in the matter. What right does anyone have to demand the option of a male character, or an black character, Filipino, trans, Indian, etc? At no point was anything said REMOTELY similar to “the French Revolution isn’t relevant to women”. You say they promised a female character? Show me where. They made comments promising more diverse casts of playable characters in the future, but made no specific promises regarding individual games.

        >Ubisoft promised women characters as a playable aspect and then took them away with a bullshit excuse

        For a moment, let’s set aside the fact that they made no specific promises for Unity. Bioshock is one of the most widely revered PC games of the last decade. It is extremely character driven and relies on a variety of audiovisual elements to immerse the player, but despite the enormous cast of fully flesh-out, dramatic characters, it only has three character models: one male, one female, and one for the pivotal dramatic antagonist. Adding new models and voice effects is never a technical difficulty, it is a matter of schedule and budget. The simple truth of the matter is that they nixed the idea due to the relatively huge cost of adding voices and models for something that adds nothing to this particular story’s narrative (the protagonist is male; that is not a heinous crime). They backpedaled on this straightforward explanation because people who are completely ignorant (but nonetheless gravely offended) of the amount of man-hours and money needed to shoehorn something in can’t accept the simple fact that it cost too much for no artistic gain.

        >Your comments are aggressively dickwolfish in nature, so good show there. Hope that clears up your fanatical ideals of “deception”! See you later on /r/mensrights!
        Do you complain if people call you a tumblr hag? because that would be incredibly hypocritical. Not one thing Gabriel said touched on sex or ideology, but out comes “dickwolfish” and “/r/mensrights”, completely undeservedly. Do you ever feel embarrassed at the despicable lack of integrity that you conduct yourself with?

  • Gabriel

    Jonathan Cooper can say all he wants. He’s an animator, not the entire team that has to do the work.

    Costumes for characters go through dozens of designs before just one is finalized. Especially one for a game with such a robust color pallet as Assassin’s Creed.

    Then you have to design and model the character. Even with a costume already finalised, the character’s face, personality, history, etc has to be flushed out.

    Then there’s the the casting. You must get an actress to mocap the character’s actions and facial reactions. You’ve also got to have her voice the character for any cutscenes (if she speaks).

    THEN you’ve got to rig the character and ensure everything about the mocap and hand animations work. Granted, there are elements from the male character’s animation you can use. But the size of the character, prorportions, and movements are very important. You can’t just stick a male character’s skeleton into a female’s (and vise versa) and just expect it to work. Players, given what a certain portion of them are now vocal about would be ticked if their female character didn’t move like a woman.

    Then you have to address all of the physics in the game. I’m not talking about bouncing “bewbs” but cloth simulations, characters colliding with the new form, and so on.

    I have no doubt that Mr. Cooper is very good at what he does. But either he is completely naive as to all the work that goes into a character (apart from the hand animation work he does ), or he is simply running his mouth in an attempt to make Ubisoft look bad. Either way, I’m very disappointed in him. I expect better from a “professional”.

    You J. Cooper fans can run you mouth flaming me all you want. I don’t care. Jonathan Cooper is flat wrong. To make such a claim as he did, you have to look past just your department and that of the others involved. It would take months and a lot more money to include a female character. NOT 2 DAYS!

  • Capn

    I’d like to point out that the only time the word “relevant” is used in this entire article is the headline. I read the article to find out when Ubisoft ever said that and instead I stumbled upon an article that… Well I’m not really sure how to put it besides that it’s an opinion that I find misguided.

    You want to be represented? Ok, I can get that. Couple of questions though.

    1. How many people have you assassinated?
    2. How many buildings have you climbed?
    3. How many times have you fallen from a great height and landed unharmed?
    4. How many French Revolutions have you played a pivotal role in?

    What I’m getting at is that you want to have a female playable character that you can relate to even though there is literally no one in the world who could relate to a protagonist in Assassin’s Creed. So I guess I don’t really get that at all.

    Also, Assassin’s Creed is not a role-playing game. You aren’t creating a character and making their story. Ubisoft made a character, made a story for that character, and made a setting for that character.

    A lot of people think a compromise would be to let you choose your gender for co-op. Problem is you don’t choose a character for co-op at all. When you and a friend are playing co-op you are both Arno. On your screen you are Arno, and they are Generic_Assassin_2 but equipped with the gear your friend has equipped. On your friend’s screen they are Arno, and you are Generic_Assassin_2 but equipped with your custom gear. It fascinates me that people don’t understand that despite the fact nearly every interview about co-op has asked this question and gotten this answer.

  • Crisisinthewoods

    What a remarkably terrible article. There should be awards to recognize shit of this caliber.

  • Dark

    If I may bring this back up again…

    “Bless their heart,” is actually a way of calling someone an idiot, so that lady who said that really has no clue what she’s talking about.

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to Jay Mohr: Why You Can't Call Us Bitches - The Flounce()

  • Pingback: Gregory Smith()

  • ranon

    I’m a female gamer- but I don’t think it’s a big deal to play as a guy. I’m fully for female equality, but these are games we’re talking about. Playing tomb raider, with a female lead, and playing AC with a male.. neither made a difference to how much I enjoyed the game. It just really does not bother me. Much the same way it wouldn’t bother my dad, brother, or OH, to play tomb raider as a woman.
    I think there are much bigger things to worry about than the representation of women in video games. Don’t get me wrong- I fully appreciate where you’re coming from- but this is AC. We have games like GTA, where the only women in it are basically prostitutes, and we’re complaining about a game like AC where there ARE strong female characters, even if they aren’t playable?
    I enjoy these games regardless of the sex of the character I am playing as. And at the end of the day- isn’t that all that matters?