Publisher responds to yesterday's backlash, stresses importance of diversity to series creators

Ubisoft clarifies male-only Assassin’s Creed Unity co-op

Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft has finally weighed in on the furore around the next entry in the series, with complaints centred around the lack of a playable female character.

The trouble began when technical director James Therien claimed that adding women to the game’s four-player co-op mode would have "doubled the workload" for the team, citing the massive amount of animations required as the reason to stick with a male-only cast.

Develop and several readers expressed our thoughts on this, while animators offered us a little more insight into the efforts of implementing both male and female characters. Former Creed animator Jonathan Cooper even voiced his own disbelief on Twitter.

Now Ubisoft has released a statement to Kotaku, clarifying the matter.

"We recognise the valid concern around diversity in video game narrative," the statement reads. "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."

Sadly, this probably isn’t the end to the issue Ubisoft was hoping for as reports have emerged this morning that the team behind Far Cry 4 also abandoned the idea of a playable female character due to "workload issues".

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