Ubisoft has managed to find itself in a bit of controversy after it was revealed during E3 2014 that they had scrapped plans to include playable female leads in Far Cry 4 and Assassin’s Creed Unity. it was claimed that the work required to create new the new sounds and animations for a female character was far too high to justify for either game. Developers took to the internet to protest the stance and things have turned into quite the fiasco for the publisher.
The reponses among developers have been varied to say the least. Jonathan Cooper of Naughty Dog responded to the with a pro-female lead stance.
In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two’s work. Not a replacement of 8000 animations. http://t.co/z4OZl3Sngl — Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) June 11, 2014
On the other end of the spectrum, Derek Smart of 3000ad shared an alternative view on the topic.
Playable female characters in games. My PG-13 take… Read: http://t.co/bE1Eti0Sgz — Derek Smart (@dsmart) June 12, 2014
Fans across the world are currently sharing their distaste for Ubisoft’s stance under the Twitter hashtag #womenaretoohardtoanimate. In response to concerns, Ubisoft issued the following statement.
We recognize 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.