Ubisoft's creative director Alex Amancio has stirred up another row over sexism in the gaming industry by saying the studio's new game, Assassin's Creed Unity, doesn't feature any female characters because it would have been too much of an effort to create them.
Amancio's opinion emerged in this video interview posted by gaming site Polygon.
At about the 21:40 mark in the video, Amancio is asked if it is possible to play as a female assassin in the game's mutiplayer mode.
“To be very honest,” Amancio replies, “we originally had planned to have female assassins in the game. And essentially we ran into the reality of production. It's double the animations, double the voices, all that stuff, double the visual assets.”
“It was a lot of extra production work,” Amancio continued, especially as the game has customisable avatars. He goes on to say that it was not possible to cut the game's protagonist, named “Arno” and that “the only logical action we had was to cut the female avatar.”
He then explains how the game's multiplayer mode allows players to customise their avatars, but that each player thinks they are playing as Arno even if they can customise the look of their avatar.
A textbook media storm followed publication of the video, prompting Ubisoft to deny that it is sexist and to explain that the game's premise is that every player plays as Arno and Arno is a man it doesn't make a lot of sense for female avatars to be included.
The controversy is playing out, as you read.
Assassin's Creed Unity will emerge on major consoles in October. ®