Women are so hard to animate

So, Assassin's Creed: Unity is going to have four-player co-op. None of the characters available, however, are female. "It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it’s a question of focus and production," explains technical director James Therien. "So we wanted to make sure we had the best experience for the character. A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes. It would have doubled the work on those things."

Which is a statement of mind-blowing bogosity. As Tim Clark of PCGamer points out, this is a multi-million dollar game being worked on by nine studios; he also notes that the game already has female assassin characters. It’s also contradicted by Assassin’s Creed III animation director Jonathan Cooper, who tweeted “I would estimate this to be a day or two’s work. Not a replacement of 8000 animations.”

See also Rock Paper Shotgun’s take.

(Also, y’know, these are people wearing hoods and long cloaks. They spent some time making the four of them look a little different; it’s hard to see that it would have been difficult to make one female.)

  1. While it doesn’t make what they’ve chosen to do any less gross, part of me feels like they would have caught less flack for it if they had led their reveals with a bunch of single player story stuff. That, at least, would’ve given some context to their “Everybody is playing as Arnaud” rationale. As it stands, all they’ve shown is the coop, basically. I mean I get it that the coop is the thing that’s “new” with this iteration, so they have to lean on it, but still.

  2. RPS has it, I think. The only thing more risible than major companies (or the managers at them) making idiotic decisions like this is the web of unconvincing damage-control bullshit the PR flacks are supposed to spin after the stupidity is pointed out to them. It would be so much easier and better for everyone concerned for them to just say ‘we fucked up, we’re dumb, we’ll fix it.’ But it seems like a lot of the decision makers at some of these Big Game Factories are actually as infantile and dim as they seem to think their customers are.

    Ubisoft is firmly in the lead for the Dumb As Hammered Dogshit Game Industry Award these days. It’s kind of amazing.

  3. That tweet by Jonathan seems pretty damning in this context. I have to wonder if they could have just said “it fits the fiction that only men were in this group”.

  4. I have to wonder if they could have just said “it fits the fiction that only men were in this group”.

    Well they’ve had assassins that were not men before in the series. And historically (apologies if one of the links already mentions this).

  5. Well gosh, they might as well have a “No Girls Allowed” sign at the entrance to their secret hideout.

    Oh well, never cared so much as to even try an AC game.

  6. also http://dangolding.tumblr.com/post/88625164678/notes-on-ubisofts-charlotte-corday whose original tweet, I think, inspired the google screenshot one.

  7. Tracking, comparing, contrasting, being all journalismy: Alec Meer has infinitely more patience for bullshit-combing than I might ever have.

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