Assassin's Creed: Unity in trouble over 'excluding' female killers - Ubisoft responds

Developers blame lack of resources for including no playable female assassins in multi-million dollar video game

Videogame developer Ubisoft has been criticized by gamers for the lack of playable female characters in its recently-announced title Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

The game’s technical director James Therien came under fire after telling technology journalists that adding a playable female character would have “doubled the work”.

"It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it's a question of focus and production," Therien told “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.”

Therien’s reasoning was met with derision online, with Assassin’s Creed III animator Johnathan Cooper tweeting: "In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two's work. Not a replacement of 8000 animations."

"Walk/run cycles and idles are the easiest way to define a character,” said Cooper. “Everything else is androgynous.”

Assassin's Creed: Unity features a host male assassins - although Ubisoft is promising to show case 'strong female characters' soon.

On Twitter gamers responded with dismay:

Writing for PC Gamer, Tim Clark summarised the situation by saying “the miserable sense here is of femininity as an optional extra,” noting that it was laughable that a game costing tens of millions of dollars and involving nine separate studios would claim that they ‘lacked resources’ to represent half of the world’s population.

Ubisoft has responded to the situation by saying that previous games in the series showed “diversity in our playable Assassins,” although only a single character mentioned by the company was female - Aveline de Grandpré, who appeared in  Assassin’s Creed III and IV.  

The New Statesman also pointed out that the lack of female characters is notable for a game set during the French Revolution, a time of social upheaval that saw one of the most famous assassinations in history; the stabbing of political theorist Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte Corday.

The murder earned Corday the nickname the ‘Angel of Assassination’ and was immortalised by Jacques-Louis David’s painting The Death of Marat but features nowhere in Unity – the latest game in a series that frequently portrays real-life historical events and characters.

However, for fans of equal representation in gaming there might be some good news on the horizon: rumours suggest the latest Legend of Zelda game might actually star Zelda instead of Link.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Partner Manager - EMEA

    £50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Partner Manager is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Sales Manager - OTE £100,000

    £45000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Sales Manager is re...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Manager

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manager is for a successfu...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific