Future games from publisher Ubisoft will showcase a greater diversity of lead characters, the company’s CEO has pledged.
"We are working on that," Yves Guillemot told CVG. "We want to spend more time on the worlds and characters in our games.
“You will see more and more of this at Ubisoft. We'll try to be less like we have been in the past with some characters. We'll try to extend more diversity."
The publisher came under fire over E3 week for mixed messages about the omission of any playable female characters in the multiplayer-focused Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
Claims that workload was at least partially to blame were questioned by some – including MCV – after the game’s director Alex Amancio said: "It's double the animations, it's double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets.”
The issue was later compounded when Far Cry 4 director Alex Hutchinson said that game was also missing a planned playable female due to similar challenges, stating: “It was purely a workload issue because we don't have a female reading for the character, we don't have all the animations.”
Ubisoft’s official statement on the Assassin’s Creed issue didn’t mention workload, however, saying that the omission of females was a design choice.
“We recognize the valid concern around diversity in video game narrative,” a statement claimed. “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.”