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I would not like to blame Ubisoft, but things are not going very well for them since 2012, at least concerning the Assassin's Creed saga to speak the truth.
Back in 2012, you might remember or at least have heard of that guy named John L. Beiswenger. Well, I guess. Does this name ring any bells to you ? If not, let me remind you. On April 16th 2012, Mr Beiswenger, a dreadful writer and a so called product research engineer sued Ubisoft for having taken, as he claimed, major elements from his very much awful book Link to create the plot of the Assassin's Creed series, such as Christian religion, gods, the forbidden fruit and a machine supposed to be similar to the Animus. Fortunately (for us), the case was not strong enough and Beiswenger had to relinquish (good riddance). Plus, some people accused Ubisoft before the release of Assassin's Creed III to preconise the Americans as the trailers depicted Connor killing British soldiers instead of any other ennemies. But this was only the first instances of the various controversies that would incur in the future.
When Black Flag was announced, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) issued a statement against how animals such as whales and sharks were treated in the game, mainly because of the hunting side missions. They declared it was "disgraceful" to "glorify" whaling. Ubisoft responded they did not condone such behavior such as piracy as well. But it was not the end of it. Nope.
On the last E3 in Los Angeles this year, when Unity was officially revealed to the public, criticism started to come from all sides mainly because there was no female characters among the four Assassins when players play in cooperation. What was more insulting was the statement Ubisoft made afterwards to justify their choice. It goes as followed :
- "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, Adéwalé and Altaïr 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."
Add to this that Alex Amancio, creative director of Unity said that it would have taken double the time to create female characters. Sorry but f***ing bullshit.
The thing is that people working in the video game industry said it would have taken only a few days to make the changes. It's regrettable. As I'm eager to know more about Unity in the next few months and very exited (as always) about a new Assassin's Creed, especially one happening during the French Revolution, I can't help myself but to think these sort of controversies are tainting the reputation of Ubisoft and the Assassin's Creed series. So... What do you think of it? Disappointing, isn't it ?