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No female Assassin's Creed characters a "reality of development"

No female Assassin's Creed characters a "reality of development"

Thu 12 Jun 2014 8:23am GMT / 4:23am EDT / 1:23am PDT
Publishing

Ubisoft Montreal's James Therien says playable female models in Unity would have "doubled the work" [UPDATE 2: Unity director responds]

Update 2: Alex Amancio, director of Assassin's Creed Unity, has responded to the controversy swirling around Ubisoft Montreal's decision to exclude playable female avatars from the game's co-op gameplay.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Amancio stated that, while he understands the outpouring of disappointment that greeted the news, it isn't "relevant" to the game.

"I understand the issue, I understand the cause, and it is a noble one, but I don't think it's relevant in the case of Unity," he said. "In Unity you play this character called Arno, and when you're playing co-op you're also playing Arno - everybody is. It's like Aiden Pierce in Watch Dogs.

"On the brand we've had multiple diverse characters. Altair is Arabic, Connor is Native, we've had a female lead. This game is set in the French Revolution, so you're playing a Frenchman."

However, Amancio did create some distance between the company's current stance and the comments made by technical director James Therien that sparked the controversy. Therien originally suggested that the absence of female characters was a practical choice based on resources.

"The team members are here, they work really hard and we take them as spokespeople as we want the answers to be real," Amancio said. "These people aren't professionals, and sometimes they slip up. It's fine. We focus on what we're presenting that's cool - again, I just don't think Unity applies to this subject matter."

Update: Ubisoft has now issued a statement, as reported by Kotaku. The publisher does not address the previous comment about the added cost of including female characters, however.

"We recognise the valid concern around diversity in video game narrative. 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," a spokesperson said.

Original story:

The absence of playable female characters in Assassin's Creed Unity is an unfortunate side-effect of the, "reality of game development," according to Ubisoft technical director James Therien.

Speaking to Videogamer at E3, Therien claimed that including playable female avatars in Unity - which will introduce four-player co-op to the campaign mode - was on the Ubisoft Montreal's feature list until recently.

However, the amount of resources involved would have "doubled the work" in areas like character animation and costumes, and the feature was ultimately cut. It was, Therien said, "a question of focus of production."

"It's unfortunate, but it's a reality of game development," said Therien. "It's not a question of philosophy or choice in this case at all.

"It was a question of focus and a question of production. Yes, we have tonnes of resources, but we're putting them into this game, and we have huge teams, nine studios working on this game and we need all of these people to make what we are doing here."

As demonstrated at E3 in Microsoft's press conference, Assassin's Creed Unity will feature questions in which the player can receive assistance from up to three friends, all playing as the series' iconic assassins. The fact that there will be no playable female character models is a strange oversight for Ubisoft, as Assassin's Creed: Liberation has a female protagonist, and female NPC assassins have featured in many of the games and their cut-scenes.

At the very least, Ubisoft shouldn't be surprised at the line of questioning. Gender balance in game content has emerged as a major issue facing the industry's creative teams, whether over their absence or the treatment of those that do make the final cut.

Speaking last year after the release of Remember Me, Dontnod Entertainment's Jean Maxime Moris revealed that its female lead, Nilin, was the reason the game was turned down by a number of unnamed publishers.

In the discussion that followed, Bioware's lead writer David Gaider said that it would take a substantial commercial success to alter the "accepted industry wisdom" that a female protagonist would risk commercial failure.

"It has to be something they can't ignore," he said. "The only way the industry can't ignore something is when money is involved."

Of course, in the case of Assassin's Creed Unity, the issue is not about the game's protagonist, but the gender of the apparently arbitrary character models that can play alongside him. In addition, as one of the most popular and lucrative franchises in the games industry, it's difficult to argue that Assassin's Creed lacks the commercial clout to feature playable women.

All of which leads back to Therien's stated reason: that the nine studios and substantial budget that make Unity possible was not enough to make playable female character models a practical possibility. It rather begs the question, is this really the "reality" of game production today, or just a sacrifice that Ubisoft Montreal was willing to make?

41 Comments

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

807 637 0.8
This really disappoints me.
Well they didn't seems to have that problem in previous installment's multiplayer.

"it's difficult to argue that Assassin's Creed lacks the commercial clout to feature playable women."

Except that they are on the lore since forever. Plus what I stated before. Sorry but that reasons feels empty.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 11th June 2014 9:18am

Posted:3 months ago

#1

Morville O'Driscoll
Blogger & Critic

1,536 1,338 0.9
Popular Comment
Here's a way to have playable women in the new AssCreed, without doubling work:

Cut out the playable men. Use women as playable characters.


There you go, playable women models, without doubling the work. Sorted.

Posted:3 months ago

#2

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

807 637 0.8
@Morville: that made me laugh, thanks xD

Also, let's bee honest here: Would they really have us believe that when they weighed production costs this didn't come up if they ACTUALLY had any intention of including females in the game?

Please...

Posted:3 months ago

#3

Darren Adams
Managing Director

240 436 1.8
IMO every open world game should at the very least have a Mass Effect level choice of character gender.

I get that you have to create two sets of meshes/animations, voice-overs and alter certain dialogue to fit, but in this day and age it seems like the right thing to do and probably should be budgeted from the outset.

Posted:3 months ago

#4

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,098 1,061 1.0
You obviously want to hold back your all female assassin cast for the blaxsploitation sequel set in the 1970ies.

Posted:3 months ago

#5

Morville O'Driscoll
Blogger & Critic

1,536 1,338 0.9
Obviously... That'll be Quentin Tarantino's entrance into video-games, a psuedo-sequel to Jackie Brown.

(Thinking about it, that could be pretty damn awesome. :p )

Posted:3 months ago

#6

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

559 607 1.1
Popular Comment
I guess the days of the developer choosing which characters they want to have in their game are over. Not only does Ubisoft have to justify their decision now, but even when justifying it, Ubisoft will get criticised for it. Everyone else seems to feel the right to dictate to developers what to put into their games now.

I am sure the game will feature some great female characters in the story, as previous titles have done. And as long as those are done well and not stereotypical or treated badly etc. then I think Ubisoft will have done their part in my opinion.

Posted:3 months ago

#7
Popular Comment
It's worth remembering that we're not talking about actual characters here - just character models that can be used in the co-op features of the game. It's an important distinction, as characters in the story sense would require a much larger investment in voice acting and writing, but female co-op models wouldn't need that much extra work.

And that's very relevant here, as these models are not supposed to have personalities or defined characteristics; they are supposed to act as a direct representation of the person controlling them. Ubisoft's decision means that the series' female fans - I would guess that's quite a large number at this point - won't have the choice to represent themselves with a character model of their own gender. I don't think it can be so easily dismissed as a concern.

I'm all for empowering the creator, but even Therien says it was a practical choice, not a creative one.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Matthew Handrahan on 11th June 2014 10:38am

Posted:3 months ago

#8

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

559 607 1.1
Popular Comment
Matthew - have you ever made a co-op game and been involved in the creation of co-op models? If not, how would you judge how much work is involved? Have you seen the work that has gone into one of the Ubisoft Co-Op models?

If this was a single player character, I might be inclined to agree with you, but co-op does mean you get up close and personal with those characters, you do see clothing, gear, animation of these characters up close. Co-Op characters do have voice overs and audio. So the work does double.

Posted:3 months ago

#9

Neil Young
Programmer

296 372 1.3
Popular Comment
Attributing it to "a reality of development" is unfortunate, since it's only half the story.

Yes, it's true that any title has finite time and resource, but that in itself merely explains the existence of a cutoff line. It doesn't in itself explain the priority decisions that will place features on one side or other of that line. I think it's those decisions that people are criticising, not the practicality of cutting features at all. Essentially, people feel the priority placed on the feature was too low.

Posted:3 months ago

#10
Andreas - I'm not sure anyone needs to have created a co-op character model to lament a decision of this kind. I wasn't suggesting that there was no extra work involved in a co-op model, just that it would be less work than if it were a character involved in the story and needed more extensive voicework and cut-scenes. I think that's probably correct, to be fair, though I can't lay claim to direct experience, as you point out.

However, I think you're slightly missing the point. As Neil indicates, whether female models would create more work is not the issue here. The question is why female characters fell on the wrong side of Ubisoft's cut-off point for the game's features, and whether that was a good decision on their part.

Resources are finite, yes, but they can be invested anywhere, and I'm pretty confident that had Ubisoft decided to cut or reduce another of the game's many, many features to free up resources for female character models it would have received a far warmer welcome. In any case, to regard the response as an end to, "the days of the developer choosing which characters they want to have in their game," seems a little hyperbolic.

Posted:3 months ago

#11

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

559 607 1.1
Matt I am sorry, I hope I did not come across as condescending. Your comment simply made it sound as if creating a player character model, which can be seen up close by other players, was no work at all. Having done co-op on Syndicate, I can assure you that it is a lot of work to get it right and make it look good - and with every passing year, every passing game, the quality standard goes higher.

I don't think I am missing the point though - I addressed the point in my original post and I maintain that: it is down to the developer to decide where to put resources. Ubisoft decided to put resources elsewhere, it is their decision to make. Should the game not be judged on it's merits when it is released, instead of creating negative vibes based on a missing female co-op character? What if the money they took away from character development was used to create the most innovative gameplay element of the decade? Would that justify it? We don't know the why. So how about we don't judge a developer for something we have not even seen yet.

That's my opinion anyway. Not really into debating this though, so this will likely be my last post on the subject.

Posted:3 months ago

#12

Guillermo Aguilera Bugallo
Senior Game Designer

6 4 0.7
Mass effects statistics 80 % get male Shepar.

Posted:3 months ago

#13

Helen Merete Simm
Senior UI Artist

48 249 5.2
Really? most of the people I know play as Femshep... even when they are male themselves. And Mass Effect cut corners by using the same animations for Femshep as Male Shephard. Its amusing, but it doesnt really bother me, because as Comm. Shephard I was badass.

"Ubisoft's decision means that the series' female fans - I would guess that's quite a large number at this point - won't have the choice to represent themselves with a character model of their own gender. I don't think it can be so easily dismissed as a concern.

I'm all for empowering the creator, but even Therien says it was a practical choice, not a creative one. "

Posted:3 months ago

#14

Guillermo Aguilera Bugallo
Senior Game Designer

6 4 0.7
I have male friends that play female, but the market reality is another. btw I playing paper and pencil rpg fpor many years and very few people change of gender.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Guillermo Aguilera Bugallo on 11th June 2014 11:56am

Posted:3 months ago

#15

Helen Merete Simm
Senior UI Artist

48 249 5.2
Just googled the stats and you are right... 80% of ME games chose male Shep. I am massively disappointed. Does this mean 80% of people who played Mass Effect are male?
I feel like rounding up every woman I know and forcing them to play the game.

Posted:3 months ago

#16

Chris Payne
Associate Lead Programmer

47 147 3.1
I can totally understand how they got into this situation. The game has a male avatar from previous instalments, so they'll have been working on that from the start. I'm sure they designed it with female avatars in mind, but as they feel the pinch some features need to go, and from a purely practical viewpoint the female avatars (which may not have been very far along) are an easy cut that still leaves them with a functional game. Perfectly expedient.

The trouble is that by cutting the players' choice of avatar to one gender, they are sending a message that representing the missing gender is less important than all the things they didn't cut, less important than hitting their deadline, and less important than coming in on budget. Imagine how that makes female fans of the series feel.

Posted:3 months ago

#17

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,245 401 0.3
If you played from the first, ME had a default launch of a male Shepard with warrior based stats. It wasn't immediately obvious what to do to change these unless you look in depth, and once most people had got the hang of the game, I'm guessing they didn't change.

Posted:3 months ago

#18

Guillermo Aguilera Bugallo
Senior Game Designer

6 4 0.7
hi, Andrew, 80% of people do it changes in the avatar.

Posted:3 months ago

#19

Guillermo Aguilera Bugallo
Senior Game Designer

6 4 0.7
Does this mean 80% of people who played Mass Effect are male?
probably minus :(, because we know men that play female characters.

Posted:3 months ago

#20

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

655 270 0.4
Just googled the stats and you are right... 80% of ME games chose male Shep. I am massively disappointed. Does this mean 80% of people who played Mass Effect are male?
It means that 80% of the player choose the male Shep. It say nothing about the players themselves. Tomb Raider does not have a playable male character, and I am sure not all the players are female.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Tom Keresztes on 11th June 2014 2:00pm

Posted:3 months ago

#21

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@Andreas Gschwari - Your spot on and I echo your thoughts

---------------------------------------------------

Anyway... I see no reason a development team backed by the millions of dollars they have to make a AAA game can not have female multiplayer characters. If its for the main story thats acceptable, but not in multiplayer. I cannot see why they couldnt do it. Especially with the level of talent and skill these people have and the assets of ingame content they have created over time from previouse games.

However... I also support the developers wishes when making their creation. As a creator and a person who has a few creations underway, it would suck if someone was telling me how I should create. I only do that when its a work for hire. When someone has the idea and they need my technical skill. And I dont go telling that person how they should want things. At most I might offer suggestions to help get there idea to work in said project, but thats it.

So while I see no reason for this I do support the fact that the creators are the ones to make the final call on what their creation should be. And if your not part of the creative team, you cant see the things the way they do.

On the development end, creating a female character does take up development time, such as a seperate set of new wardobe, seperate voice sessions and sets of customization features to make your characters.

Then we have the case of audience. How many woman are actually play assasins creed? Thats another factor to consider.So one cant discredit the developers claims. So my views here are just personal opinions.

So maybe the development team wasnt bothered by making female multiplayer characters, simply because they felt hardly and woman play it. And that is a valid statement.

I myself enjoy playing a female character when I cant use or customize a male character in a way that i can identify with. So i would have liked a female characters in the game. But its no big deal. the game will be awsome anyway.

And for any people complaining, that new tomb raider looks mighty awsome.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 11th June 2014 3:39pm

Posted:3 months ago

#22

Diana Hsu
Product Manager, Free-to-Play

9 36 4.0
Well. This is a downer.

Posted:3 months ago

#23

Robert Nzengou-Tayo
Independent.

13 77 5.9
Isn't it less a question of available resources and more one of priorities? That whatever resources were necessary were deemed better dedicated to other things than creating female characters? I get that it may have been a business decision (which does not actually let anyone off the hook), but it seems disingenuous to claim that nothing could be done about it. Is it that they felt it would be cheaper to apologize than do no wrong?

Posted:3 months ago

#24

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,175 1,124 0.5
Hmmm. I smell some future DLC cooking with a few female character models down the road...

Posted:3 months ago

#25

David Canela
Game Designer

49 91 1.9
It's just dishonest to say the decision was "not one of choice, but of focus and production" when we're talking about AC. Those are legitimate reasons when we're talking about 3 devs in a basement making a one-trick pony -indie game, but not a 900-dev project. Many nice things can be said about AC, but focus?!

Posted:3 months ago

#26

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,166 949 0.8
Seriously wrong message and justification from Ubisoft.

Posted:3 months ago

#27

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

925 1,381 1.5
Didn't we go thru this with GTA V? Or was that more about characters in the story as opposed to female avatars?

Posted:3 months ago

#28

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,175 1,124 0.5
As I noted above, DLC will hopefully solve this for anyone who's ticked off enough to complain. It's more work as noted by many, but isn't DLC supposed to be?

Paul: the GTA furor was over story content, so that's a bit different and a bigger deal to have to tackle in terms of Rockstar having to had made the decision to put a female lead in from the get go

Posted:3 months ago

#29

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Can't we just title these articles "Polygon throws yet another irrational ####-fit?"
Here's a way to have playable women in the new AssCreed, without doubling work:

Cut out the playable men. Use women as playable characters.

There you go, playable women models, without doubling the work. Sorted.
How would that fix anything? They'd still only be reflecting half the people out there. Are you just saying that only women deserve representation?
It's worth remembering that we're not talking about actual characters here - just character models that can be used in the co-op features of the game. It's an important distinction, as characters in the story sense would require a much larger investment in voice acting and writing, but female co-op models wouldn't need that much extra work.
Actually it's the exact opposite. Actual characters require less work, because they have a fixed wardrobe and limited animation set. A fully playable avatar requires them to duplicate all the male customization options (or catch fire for having less), and duplicate the playable characters robust moveset
"However, I think you're slightly missing the point. As Neil indicates, whether female models would create more work is not the issue here. The question is why female characters fell on the wrong side of Ubisoft's cut-off point for the game's features, and whether that was a good decision on their part."
"Reasons," and "probably" respectively. They are in the business of making money, they would not make a move like this if they did not feel that other features would be more important. I have little doubt that regardless of any bad press they may receive on this, they made the right call, and I say that as someone that tends to play as female avatars when given the chance and would personally prefer they were an option, but that understands why this would be a non-trivial inclusion.
It's just dishonest to say the decision was "not one of choice, but of focus and production" when we're talking about AC. Those are legitimate reasons when we're talking about 3 devs in a basement making a one-trick pony -indie game, but not a 900-dev project. Many nice things can be said about AC, but focus?!
They certainly would have the money to make it happen, but it might push it outside their traditional fall window, and would certainly add to the cost of production. They are not operating a charity, they want to make the best game possible for the majority of their gamers, in the hopes that it will turn a maximum profit so that they can continue to make games. With or without female avatars this game will do fine with the majority of their customers, including women, many of whom will never realize there's a controversy here, and taking the time and adding the budget necessary for adding female avatars, while possible, likely isn't worth it, and that's not Ubisoft's fault.

Posted:3 months ago

#30

Morville O'Driscoll
Blogger & Critic

1,536 1,338 0.9
Here's a way to have playable women in the new AssCreed, without doubling work:

Cut out the playable men. Use women as playable characters.

There you go, playable women models, without doubling the work. Sorted.
How would that fix anything? They'd still only be reflecting half the people out there. Are you just saying that only women deserve representation?
No. I was highlighting the decision they made by proposing the reverse, with the implication that an all-women cast is so unlikely as to be laughable. Let's face it - can you picture an all-women AssCreed, where the response to a lack of men is to say they're "double the work"? I certainly can't.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 12th June 2014 8:17am

Posted:3 months ago

#31

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

335 462 1.4
No. I was highlighting the decision they made by proposing the reverse, with the implication that an all-women cast is so unlikely as to be laughable.
I don't see why. If that's what you get, that's what you get. If Liberation had been the first AC to use a Unity-like system I wouldn't have been at all shocked if their MP modes had been all female. If Tomb Raider's MP mode had been all female that wouldn't have raised so much as an eyebrow from me. If your core character is of a specific size, shape, and gender, and you have some option in which the alternate copies of that character are moving around, using all the same complex move set you designed to allow that model to parkour around the rooftops of Paris, I see nothing wrong with having the other models being based on that same size and shape.

Now, if they had some other completely different option, like if you could play as either the wiry male traditional AC lead OR as a hulking brawler male lead that was noticeably taller and broader and had a different animation set to match the different skeleton, and you could manage that without being able to manage a female model, then I'd agree they missed a step on that, but that's not what happened here. They had one thing, pretty much done and in the bag, they could have added a whole different thing that would have added work to the game, and they chose not to.

I am personally a bit disappointed, as I was by the lack of female Assassin support in AC4, but I am not at all shocked or dismayed in any extent that goes beyond myself. I am not upset for anyone else, they are free to be as upset as they choose to be, but this is not an issue over which people should be upset for other people.
Let's face it - can you picture an all-women AssCreed, where the response to a lack of men is to say they're "double the work"? I certainly can't.
They've made one already, two if you count the HD remake. There is also no male single player mode in Tomb Raider, and there's not even a male mode in Mirror's Edge, even though you're essentially just hands and feet.

Posted:3 months ago

#32

Caspar Field
CEO & Co Founder

39 89 2.3
Let's face it, whatever your views on this creatively and/ or ethically, it's pretty hard to believe that somewhere in the multi-multi-million-dollar budget for an Assassin's Creed game, cash couldn't be found to make some playable female characters.

Posted:3 months ago

#33

Morville O'Driscoll
Blogger & Critic

1,536 1,338 0.9
I don't see why. If that's what you get, that's what you get. If Liberation had been the first AC to use a Unity-like system I wouldn't have been at all shocked if their MP modes had been all female. If Tomb Raider's MP mode had been all female that wouldn't have raised so much as an eyebrow from me.
Really? Hah... Fair enough. I, personally, think the damage from all the whining dudebros saying they couldn't "get into character" and "this breaks immersion" would've been seen from a distance, and that no studio would ever leave themselves open to losing such a large segment of the market on such big-budget games.
They've made one already, two if you count the HD remake. There is also no male single player mode in Tomb Raider, and there's not even a male mode in Mirror's Edge, even though you're essentially just hands and feet.
Apples and oranges. The issue here is multi-player, not single-player, content. (Also, I'm calling shenanigans on counting an HD remake and an original as two games. :p ).

Posted:3 months ago

#34

Daniel Hughes
Studying PhD Literary Modernism

436 496 1.1
To me this sounds simple. Ubisoft made a careless, stupid decision during development, and instead of correcting that mistake now attention has been drawn to it, they're attempting to justify it, rather than doing the sensible thing and correct their mistake.

The issue shouldn't be one of expense; obviously work, money and time would be needed to implement female avatars into the multiplayer mode. The issue is that Ubisoft decided it wasn't worth the time, effort and work to put female avatars into the multiplayer segment of their game: the multiplayer segment where avatars are meant to be representative of their players. How can it be representative if Ubisoft decided female avatars weren't justifiable because of expense? How is that an acceptable argument? Female avatars shouldn't be excluded from a game mode that's meant to have abstract, representative avatars due to expense; especially not in a triple AAA game that's become Ubisoft's flagship franchise, and will have had enormous resources allocated accordingly. It should never have been a question of time or effort to include female avatars in multiplayer: it should have been something that was done without thinking.

I would highly recommend reading Bonnie Patterson's comments on the original story, she hit the nail on the head. Even if it takes time and effort to fix this stupid mistake, a stupid mistake should be corrected, not defended, especially when development is not yet complete.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Daniel Hughes on 12th June 2014 10:27am

Posted:3 months ago

#35

Andrew Watson
Programmer

92 200 2.2
#2 and #4 of those co-op characters look pretty similar. I don't really think they're different enough to be able to recognise one or the other at a distance, especially since they've both got brown hoods. Maybe make one of them red or black or something?

Posted:3 months ago

#36

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Let's face it, whatever your views on this creatively and/ or ethically, it's pretty hard to believe that somewhere in the multi-multi-million-dollar budget for an Assassin's Creed game, cash couldn't be found to make some playable female characters.
Not at all. They have those budgets to make the game as good as they can, and adding playable female avatars isn't trivial. It's quite easy to believe that they couldn't find the budget for it, there are just a lot of people that are ideologically opposed to accepting that. It's like telling a Republican that climate change is real.
Really? Hah... Fair enough. I, personally, think the damage from all the whining dudebros saying they couldn't "get into character" and "this breaks immersion" would've been seen from a distance, and that no studio would ever leave themselves open to losing such a large segment of the market on such big-budget games.
Really? What would lead you to that conclusion? I've never in my life heard a dudebro whining about things like that, I can't imagine it bothering them. Dudebros just play the character they're given, they're very enlightened like that. I don't think there's any significant white male audience that complains when not presented with a white male avatar option.
Apples and oranges. The issue here is multi-player, not single-player, content. (Also, I'm calling shenanigans on counting an HD remake and an original as two games. :p ).
I didn't try to slip it by you, I noted that it was an optional distinction, but they did put in the effort, they certainly had the option to add a male avatar and they chose not to. The simple fact is that there are less female led games in general, and even fewer of those that have a multiplayer component to them, so there isn't a lot of data to work with there. I would be curious if Eidos has the statistics though, of how many people actually played Tomb Raider MP, and for whatever reason didn't play as Lara. I couldn't imagine playing as one of those scrubby refugee guys.
To me this sounds simple. Ubisoft made a careless, stupid decision during development, and instead of correcting that mistake now attention has been drawn to it, they're attempting to justify it, rather than doing the sensible thing and correct their mistake.
No, that's a misread of the situation. They made a perfectly reasonable decision in development that will lead to a superior game in the fall. That's not their problem. The mistake they made was in trying to explain it to an audience with no interest in listening. They should have just said "no comment" and left it at that. It was a marketing flub, not a design flub.
the multiplayer segment where avatars are meant to be representative of their players.
No such thing. The avatars aren't meant to represent you, a 21st century video-game player, they're meant to represent an early 19th century French assassin. You might try to make him look something like yourself, or not, up to you to work within the framework they had the time to implement. There was never any promise, implied or otherwise, that you could make the avatar look like yourself.

Posted:3 months ago

#37

Guillermo Aguilera Bugallo
Senior Game Designer

6 4 0.7
You always can put a hood a calling Loretta. Because create female character look to easy for some people.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Guillermo Aguilera Bugallo on 12th June 2014 2:08pm

Posted:3 months ago

#38

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

807 637 0.8
Again: it's not about the inclusions of female playing characters as much as the unrealistic "workload" excuse thrown at us.

Posted:3 months ago

#39

David Serrano
Freelancer

300 272 0.9
Do AAA developers and publishers ever do cost-benefit analysis on playable female characters?

Because if a CBA indicated that including a playable female character would be a value added selling point which at the very least could generate enough additional revenue to offset the development costs... and or potentially generate higher profits than a male only version of a game, then "it would double the work" would no longer be a financially valid excuse or rationalization.

Posted:3 months ago

#40

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