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Old June 12 2014, 04:17 PM   #1
Shaka Zulu
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Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of production'

Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of production'

Personally, I think that they should redouble their efforts to have a female assassin in Assassin's Creed, perhaps in the next game set in the present or future. But, I can see (considering how hard it is to make games on the programmers) why this might be hard.

For my part, I want to know how hard it is for women to get into the game industry or to be setting up their own companies (considering that in Canada bonuses are given to companies/studios that employ more women)? One would think that there would be a ton of female-led game companies/studios around now.
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Old June 12 2014, 04:37 PM   #2
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

It's really a load of crap. Those sorts of excuses are always trotted out when game companies fail to be inclusive. There's certainly nothing about the story that requires the main character to be a man, it's simply a choice they made at the expense of half their potential audience.

Yes, it would cost some money to make a female character an option, but not "double," as the developers claim.

These sorts of decisions are based on evaluating tradeoffs, but they also say plenty about what the developers' priorities are. Lack of gender (and minority) representation is an ongoing problem in the video game industry. It's slowly getting better, but there's still a long way to go, and it's a shame the developers of a AAA franchise like AC apparently don't think it's worth catering to fully half the population.

ETA because it's appropriate:

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Last edited by Robert Maxwell; June 12 2014 at 05:33 PM.
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Old June 12 2014, 06:34 PM   #3
Owain Taggart
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

I think that it would be easy to give the player a choice at the beginning wether they want to play as man or woman. The entire concept behind the games make it possible, since you're essentially Quantum-Leaping into another's body to play the role of assassin. Some would say, "Well, it's not historically accurate!" To a point, they'd be right, but this has been a fantasy/sci-fi with a historical twist from the get-go, and there's nothing stopping them from having you jump into the role of a woman.

I guess what they want from a business standpoint is the path of least resistance, allowing them to have yearly installments without having to think too much about their protagonist, as if more thought would throw the dev cycle out of whack.
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Old June 12 2014, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

They aren't historically right at all. The French Revolution itself is famous, in fact, for having female assassins.
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Old June 12 2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

Yeah, it's "really hard" is a bullshit excuse. Tomb Raider was able to pull it off.
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Old June 12 2014, 06:59 PM   #6
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

Dear Ubisoft: Have you heard of Tomb Raider?
In fact, fuck that, how about Dear Ubisoft: Have you heard of Assassin's Creed Liberation? Y'know, the AC spinoff portable game with a female character? Which apparently is too hard to do in a main game?
You could have it both ways, of course, if you made the character customizable, a la Saints Row, or even just with two options like Mass Effect....
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Old June 12 2014, 08:28 PM   #7
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

I'm not defending Ubisoft, but you're not going to see gender diversity in AAA games. Budgets are too high and the demographic for those games are young men who want to violently kill things. Gender diversity is going to start small with indie games long before it moves up to the big boys.

Although, on a positive note, Final Fantasy XIV will allow gay marriage. That's pretty cool; especially for a Japanese company.
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Old June 12 2014, 09:02 PM   #8
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

Kelthaz wrote: View Post
I'm not defending Ubisoft, but you're not going to see gender diversity in AAA games. Budgets are too high...
You do realize how bizarrely contradictory those statements are, right?

"These games cost a lot to make and that's why we have no gender diversity!" lolwut

... and the demographic for those games are young men who want to violently kill things.
Women don't like killing stuff in games? Methinks you've not met enough female gamers!

Gender diversity is going to start small with indie games long before it moves up to the big boys.
This is true, but then that just highlights the absurdity of Ubi's claim. Zero-budget indie games can afford female player characters, but AAA developers can't? The mind boggles.

Although, on a positive note, Final Fantasy XIV will allow gay marriage. That's pretty cool; especially for a Japanese company.
That's definitely cool.
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Old June 12 2014, 09:57 PM   #9
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
It's really a load of crap. Those sorts of excuses are always trotted out when game companies fail to be inclusive. There's certainly nothing about the story that requires the main character to be a man, it's simply a choice they made at the expense of half their potential audience.

Yes, it would cost some money to make a female character an option, but not "double," as the developers claim.

These sorts of decisions are based on evaluating tradeoffs, but they also say plenty about what the developers' priorities are. Lack of gender (and minority) representation is an ongoing problem in the video game industry. It's slowly getting better, but there's still a long way to go, and it's a shame the developers of a AAA franchise like AC apparently don't think it's worth catering to fully half the population.

ETA because it's appropriate:

. A gamer friend calls that 'grizzly old white guy with gravel voice' (Splinter Cell, Gears, etc etc)

I liked that Rainbow Six Vegas 2 had the option of female character, and surprised hasn't been offered in other Ubisoft games.
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Old June 12 2014, 11:09 PM   #10
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

They could just take the lazy route like Mass Effect 2 where FemShep entirely uses BroShep's animations.
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Old June 12 2014, 11:09 PM   #11
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

That's better than the exaggerated hip-swaying shit they normally put into female character walk/runcycles.
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Old June 13 2014, 12:45 AM   #12
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
That's better than the exaggerated hip-swaying shit they normally put into female character walk/runcycles.
Or the giant boobs in some games O_O. Seriously, folks? Women couldn't do much of anything with those things. It's all just fan service in that regard . *ugh*

One of the few games that I've played that wasn't so much that, was Draken: The Ancient's Gates. Loved playing as a female warrior that was every inch a warrior and could hold her own in a fight.
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Old June 13 2014, 01:16 AM   #13
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Kelthaz wrote: View Post
I'm not defending Ubisoft, but you're not going to see gender diversity in AAA games. Budgets are too high...
You do realize how bizarrely contradictory those statements are, right?

"These games cost a lot to make and that's why we have no gender diversity!" lolwut
Gaming is sadly a horribly sexist industry. Look at all the shit people like Anita Sarkeesian get just for bringing the issue into the spotlight for discussion. If you were in charge of developing an AAA game worth up to $500 million dollars, do you really want to step into the middle of that shitstorm? For what gain?

I'm not saying that it's right. All I'm saying is that I can understand companies being gunshy about potentially getting into the middle of such an important issue when huge sums of money are on the line. Companies like EA and Ubisoft are going to be the last to change, but eventually they will too.

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Kelthaz wrote: View Post
... and the demographic for those games are young men who want to violently kill things.
Women don't like killing stuff in games? Methinks you've not met enough female gamers!
I never said that. I said the primary demographic for most AAA games are young men who want to kill things. I read this very interesting article on Polygon about how and why gaming evolved to be so male dominated and why women are (sometimes intentionally) excluded when its roots were much more gender neutral. It's a (long) read, but well worth it.

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Kelthaz wrote: View Post
Gender diversity is going to start small with indie games long before it moves up to the big boys.
This is true, but then that just highlights the absurdity of Ubi's claim. Zero-budget indie games can afford female player characters, but AAA developers can't? The mind boggles.
Indie games can't compete with AAA games, so they have to stand out by targeting players outside of the mainstream or by doing something to get attention.
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Old June 13 2014, 01:59 AM   #14
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

Kelthaz wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Kelthaz wrote: View Post
I'm not defending Ubisoft, but you're not going to see gender diversity in AAA games. Budgets are too high...
You do realize how bizarrely contradictory those statements are, right?

"These games cost a lot to make and that's why we have no gender diversity!" lolwut
Gaming is sadly a horribly sexist industry. Look at all the shit people like Anita Sarkeesian get just for bringing the issue into the spotlight for discussion. If you were in charge of developing an AAA game worth up to $500 million dollars, do you really want to step into the middle of that shitstorm? For what gain?
As if video game companies don't love controversy (read: free PR) as much as everyone else.

Yes, I'm well aware of the sexism in the video game industry. That's precisely why I speak up about it.

I'm not saying that it's right. All I'm saying is that I can understand companies being gunshy about potentially getting into the middle of such an important issue when huge sums of money are on the line. Companies like EA and Ubisoft are going to be the last to change, but eventually they will too.
I am critical of them because they use bullshit excuses when the reality is that they just like to play it safe. They'd rather follow than lead and I don't find that a position worth respecting.

I never said that. I said the primary demographic for most AAA games are young men who want to kill things. I read this very interesting article on Polygon about how and why gaming evolved to be so male dominated and why women are (sometimes intentionally) excluded when its roots were much more gender neutral. It's a (long) read, but well worth it.
Ah, I read that one a while ago. Good read. Yes, I've been following this particular issue for some time so you don't need to fill me in on what's what. I just don't think anything will change unless women and men are vocal about the unacceptable state of the industry.

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Kelthaz wrote: View Post
Gender diversity is going to start small with indie games long before it moves up to the big boys.
This is true, but then that just highlights the absurdity of Ubi's claim. Zero-budget indie games can afford female player characters, but AAA developers can't? The mind boggles.
Indie games can't compete with AAA games, so they have to stand out by targeting players outside of the mainstream or by doing something to get attention.
It's a shame that AAA games don't want to similarly stand out, isn't it?
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Old June 13 2014, 05:59 AM   #15
Destructor
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Re: Lack of female assassins in Assassin's Creed? 'Reality of producti

Pretty much every problem I have with Watch Dogs would have evaporated if they'd switched Aiden with Clara.
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