Ubisoft Axed Playable Women for AC: Unity to Avoid Extra Work
Ubisoft has revealed that it cancelled plans for a female co-op characters in Assassin’s Creed: Unity because it would “double” the game’s “production work.”
This information came to light in a recent interview with members of the development team who expressed that the company had intentions to create unique female leads and co-op avatars but opted not to due to the “reality of production.”
“[A female character doubles] the animations, it’s double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets,” said creative director Alex Amancio. “Especially because we have customizable assassins. It was really a lot of extra production work.”
Just how much you ask? According to level designer Bruno St. Andre, more than 8,000 seperate animations would need to be redone to accommodate a playable female character. Even so, St. Andre would go on to affirm that the decision to make the cut was a difficult one and that fans can expect future iterations to go the extra mile that Unity won’t be.
“I cannot speak for the future of the brand,” he said. “But it was dear to the production team, so you can expect that it will happen eventually in the brand.”
That promise of future inclusiveness has been little solace to many who have expressed outrage over the decision.
“If Saints Row can have female customisable characters then not having them isn’t a ‘reality of development’ it’s just a crappy decision,” said Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett. Pratchett wasn’t the only industry figure to criticize the move. Jonathan Cooper, animation director for Assassin’s Creed, offered a firm contradiction of Ubisoft’s claim that it would “double” the animation work. “In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two’s work,” he Tweeted. “Not a replacement of 8000 animations.”
What do you think of this move? Is Ubisoft just being lazy with its decision to nix plans for female assassin’s in cooperative play, or does this strike you as a genuine case of trying to make a great game within the confines of a budge?
If Saints Row can have female customisable characters then not having them isn't a 'reality of development' it's just a crappy decision.
— Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) June 11, 2014
In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two's work. Not a replacement of 8000 animations. http://t.co/z4OZl3Sngl
— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) June 11, 2014