No playable female characters for Assassin’s Creed Co-Op

The games industry has erupted in yet another controversy on the news that the co-op multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed 5 won’t offer any playable female characters.

Ubisoft creative Director Alex Amancio told Polygon that the “reality of production” had forced the company to cancel plans to include female Assassins.

“It’s double the animations, it’s double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets,”  Amancio explained. “Especially because we have customizable assassins. It was really a lot of extra production work.”

The excuse is by no means invalid – creating a high-quality female model with textures and animations would extend the game’s production time and add a few thousand dollars to the budget – but for many active social media users in the industry it’s just not good enough.

“Ubisoft has given me a serious case of the rages,” said writer Rachel Weber via Twitter. “Thanks for deciding women just aren’t worth the bother. We appreciate it.”

Indie developer C.Y. Reid chimed in, pointing out “we’ve worked on female character designs before, everyone, come on. We’ve got binders FULL of female character designs.”

Amancio further explained that since players of the new Assassins creed are only customizing the main character, not choosing from a variety of playable characters, it felt like a choice between Arno and the female option.

“It’s not like we could cut our main character,” he said, “so the only logical option, the only option we had, was to cut the female avatar.”

This certainly makes good business sense, but for an industry struggling to rid itself of the public image of misogyny it’s a sign that Ubisoft simply valued the superb realism of the thatched roofs and period costumes over including the rapidly growing number of women gamers.

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