Saturday, June 14, 2014

No girls allowed! Why Ubisoft bothers me a little.

E3 is over. I've heard enough interesting things to keep me entertained for another year for sure.
What stuck with me most however was Ubisoft's announcement about Unity.
The new cop-op multi-player mode will not be featuring women as playable characters.

Ok sure, it's their baby, they can do what they like. So I didn't think of it that much until I heard the reasons.

Creative director Alex Amancio explains:

"It’s double the animations, it’s double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets,”

I'll bet someone out there, at some time, said the same thing about women voters.

"We'll have to count double the votes!"

This explanation irritated me as it sounded more like an excuse rather than an actual reason.
Surely a billion dollar company can find the resources to hire an animation team to animate the ladies no? There seems to be no shortage of female source material as you count the many tavern wenches and courtesans.

In the single player story lines, I can completely understand. The womanizing Ezio's storyline wouldn't port well to a female protagonist.
In a multi-player however, I really can't see the point of barring female avatars.

I've heard many people that agree with me, but also some voices that clamor that females have to 'force' their gender onto everything.

While I don't even know what that means, since we make up half the world's population.

Also you get, what about Lara Croft and Samos? Those are women. Sure, again, those are single-player games and the stories compel them to be female. Just like Max Payne needs to be a man, no discussion there.

I can only speak from my own experience as a gamer. Being able to choose a female character allows me to immerse myself better into a game.

The absolute masters in this are Bioware. Thanks to games like Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, I fell in love with Pc gaming. There you can choose to be a female and the story doesn't suffer one bit from it. How is it they can pull it off so seamlessly? Because when a story is about people, all genders can relate.

These are my two cents.

PS: Ubisoft? You can make it up with a free Female Avatar DLC set if it's too late to implement it in the game. Just saying.

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