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Alex Hutchinson: Game journalists exhibit "subtle racism"

AC3 creative director says press is biased in favour of Japanese developers

Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Assassin's Creed 3, has said that he believes games journalists give Japanese developers an easy ride, exhibiting a "subtle racism" which is condescending to those it favours.

Speaking in an interview with CVG, Hutchinson expressed his frustration with the press' treatment of what he sees as sub-standard story telling in Japanese games.

"There's a subtle racism in the business, especially on the journalists' side, where Japanese developers are forgiven for doing what they do."

Asked about why Nintendo is able to endlessly iterate the same franchises multiple times in each and every generation, Hutchinson replied: "You want my real answer? I think there's a subtle racism in the business, especially on the journalists' side, where Japanese developers are forgiven for doing what they do. I think it's condescending to do this.

"Just think about how many Japanese games are released where their stories are literally gibberish. Literally gibberish. There's no way you could write it with a straight face, and the journalists say 'oh it is brilliant'.

"Then Gears of War comes out and apparently it's the worst written narrative in a game ever. I'll take Gears of War over Bayonetta any time.

"It's patronising to say, 'oh those Japanese stories, they don't really mean what they're doing'."

"We had no interest in writing about the patriots or the defenders of king and country...These are very boring stories."

Hutchinson's slightly off-topic outburst is unlikely to make him many friends in the upper echelons of Ubisoft's management, although it smacks more than a little of a poor choice of phrasing. Nonetheless, he seemed unfazed and left the comments unmitigated, instead moving on to talk about what AC3's story wouldn't be about: historical accuracy.

"The best thing about it was that people had a view," he continued, referencing the public discussion Assassin's Creed's setting and story.

"That was perfect. People were debating it. We had no interest in writing about the patriots or the defenders of king and country. I mean, these are very boring stories. It's funny to see these debates online, and we just gave up trying to communicate on it because the game will speak for itself."

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