Ubisoft’s NINE Studios Are All Too Lazy To Make Female Characters

Ubisoft made headlines at E3 earlier this week not so much for what they had in their upcoming games, but for what they didn’t have.

Ubisoft developers in charge of the company’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, said that there would be no female playable characters in the four-play coop game because that would be too much for the hundreds of workers employed at the nine development studios that are currently working on the game.

“Again, it’s not a question of philosophy or choice in this case at all I don’t really [inaudible] it was a question of focus and a question of production,” said technical director, James Therien, speaking to VideoGamer.


“Yes, we have tonnes of resources, but we’re putting them into this game, and we have huge teams, nine studios working on this game and we need all of these people to make what we are doing here.”

Isn’t choosing to cut out female characters instead of anything else to keep “focus” a kind of philosophy, though?

Assassin’s Creed: Unity will take players to the French Revolution where a group of up to four people can enjoy stabbing rich and pompous political and economic elites before leaving their bodies to be mangled by the violent revolutionary mobs.

The game will star Arno, and three other variations of Arno with different clothing.

But the lack of any female playable characters is odd given the fact that women played hugely influential roles in the French Revolution. And the fact that it’s been established in the game’s fictional history that women were allowed to be assassins since the 12th century.

Take Charlotte Corday for example, who gained infamy after assassinating journalist, political and one of the leaders of the Reign of Terror, Jean-Paul Marat with a kitchen knife.

Since then, Corday has been immortalized by two master painters of the era, with one later French revolutionary and poet nicknaming her l’ange de l’assassinat. Her death was one of the most Romanticized deaths in the French Revolution.

During her trial, Corday’s explanation for the assassination was “I killed one man to save 100,000”, which is the most Assassin’s Creed thing ever.

Ubisoft creative director Alex Amancio, however, doesn’t think so. After all, they really wanted to add a playable female character but that means “double the animations, it’s double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets.”

Arno is “the common denominator,” he added. “It’s not like we could cut our main character, so the only logical option, the only option we had, was to cut the female avatar.”

In Ubisoft’s mind, the main character obviously has to be male, and any female characters are just extra and “the only logical option” is to cut them out because they are unnecessary. But remember, this does not constitute as a philosophy, it is simply a “reality of production”.

Below, you can see the very individualized, customizable and original looking main characters that Ubisoft came up with for the game.

And one other thing, what makes a female character’s movements and style of dress so different that you would allegedly need to spend enormous amounts of time and resources developing them?

Oh, wait. I forgot that this was the video game industry for a second. Making a female character is just as hard as making characters with different skin tones.

Bader Noaimi is an aspiring writer with a love for all things Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Superman (at least for now). They like to write about social issues in comic book culture and seeks to ruin their friends' lives on the internet. A "Literature" student for nearly all of their life, they want to prove to people that comics are serious business. No matter what their mother says.
  • Michael Moore

    It’s not like they’ve never animated women before, Assassin’s Creed Liberation anyone? So they’re just lazy fuckers.

    • TheGoddamnBader

      Yeah, they could just take those assets and copy them into the game, fine and dandy instead of talking to the media and making bullshit excuses.

  • Marcell Hines

    Honestly I could careless if there are female characters or not as long as the game is good. If people want a female protag so bad they can play liberation, but that’s just my opinion.

    • TheGoddamnBader

      But the thing is, why should the excuse be “they can go play Liberation” which is a Vita game when Unity is a next-gen multi-platform game? The games dont compare.

      It’s like someone is asking for a cake and you give them a cookie instead. No, just no.

      • Marcell Hines

        Like I said, as long as the game is good and fun to play I care not if there is equal gender representation or not. If there’s a female prtoag that’s great, if there isn’t I’m not gonna dwell on it. Ubisoft does what they do, people can complain all they want but at the end of the day people are still gonna buy it.

        • TheGoddamnBader

          That’s not the point. No one in the blogosphere said people should not buy the game or whatever. What they are saying is that Ubisoft is dismissing sections of their market audience. And then going to the media and making bullshit excuses to rationalize an unfair practice.

          No one debated the merit of the game’s other features. The debate is strictly about the fact that Ubisoft has refused to add playable female characters which supports a status quo in the industry that diminishes the importance of the presence of non-male genders.

          • Marcell Hines

            But in the end its their game and they can do whatever or add whatever, bullshit excuses or no.

          • TheGoddamnBader

            No one said they can’t do that =/ it’s not illegal to do that.

            What is on debate here, is that they should add playable female characters. And they shouldn’t make bullshit excuses.

            If Marvel makes gimmick covers to boost sales, and then says it’s NOT to boost sales and that it’s not a gimmick. Is this not bullshit? Is it not right for people to express frustration with this business practice if what they WANT is quality storytelling instead of gimmick events? Whether people “end up buying it” or not.

          • Marcell Hines

            It shouldnt be on debate because Ubisoft doesn’t HAVE to DO anything.

          • Brian Rawls

            Honestly, i feel that the problem isn’t the fact they don’t have female characters, it’s that their excuse was bogus. Not having a female playable character in a game i by no means “dismisses sections of their market audience”, because plenty of females play games with only male leads, or as a male lead.

          • TheGoddamnBader

            Yeah. Not every game needs to have equal representation, but that is made even worse by the fact that Ubisoft was acting so stupidly about it. Its not that they arent making games with female leads that dismisses their audience. Its that they make excuses like these, and people say that they actually WANT female leads that is dismissing.

  • Dart Vade

    yeah bc you know the one thing women are known for in teh real world is kicking ass and taking names. I mean right zoe salanda and her 82lbs frame can pickup an AR15 and shoot it accurately while running for cover and then will fight grown men and kick their ass right? Just like Alias or or Summer Glau in anything, right? I mean Sly Stallone doesn’t actually look like that its all CGI and Jennifer Gardener actually is hugely ripped and 240lbs they just make her look pretty right?