Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Assassin's Creed Female Characters Had Their Roles Cut Significantly, New Report Alleges
Written Tuesday, July 21, 2020 By Richard Walker
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Amid continuing allegations of sexual misconduct at Ubisoft, a new report has emerged this week, detailing a macho culture at the studio that has contributed to the developer/publisher's reticence to place a female character at the centre of a mainline Assassin's Creed game as the sole protagonist. The only time this has happened was in 2012's Assassin's Creed III spin-off, Liberation, while other female leads had their roles cut down.

The report comes from Bloomberg, whose article spotlights the investigations into alleged sexual harrassment and other accounts of misconduct levelled at certain members of Ubisoft staff, the most high profile of which is former CCO Serge Hascoët, who in response to a maelstrom of allegations, resigned from his position earlier this month alongside other key members of staff.

Hascoët, who was apparently a close friend of Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, is said have held company meetings in strip clubs, made sexually explicit comments to members of staff, and even given colleagues cakes containing weed without their knowledge. This is allegedly a major part of a much broader male-centric culture at Ubisoft, which has contributed to the ongoing decision to not have a female as the sole lead in a major Assassin's Creed game.

Examples include the scrapping of plans to have Bayek injured or killed off in Assassin's Creed Origins, paving the way for his wife Aya to take centre-stage; and Evie Frye having a much larger role in Assassin's Creed Syndicate -- eventually, her role was reduced to ensure brother Jacob Frye featured for the majority of the game, with Evie temporaily popping up during certain chapters.

According to the report, Kassandra, too, was pitched as the only playable main character in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, before Alexios was introduced as a male alternative. Assassin's Creed Valhalla has also followed suit, enabling you to play as either a male or female version of Viking protagonist, Eivor, with much of the debut promotional material showcasing the male character. Ubi has since shown much more of the female Eivor, however.

"All of the directives came from Ubisoft's marketing department or from Hascoët," Bloomberg's report (via Eurogamer) states, "both of whom suggested female protagonists wouldn't sell."

Further details in the report include an allegedly racist culture at Assassin's Creed Rogue studio Ubisoft Sofia, as well as more on the allegations that have already emerged. You can read the full Boomberg report here.


User Comments
Forum Posts: 331
Comment #1 by Staufway
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 03:15:31 PM

Forum Posts: 29
Comment #2 by LovesToSplooj
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 03:58:27 PM
It's OK. Last of us has covered the politically correct bases for a while

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #3 by d3mystic
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 03:58:27 PM
Tbh, I found Jacob's sections in Syndicate boring. Evie has to be my fav female assassin. I was also hoping for a full game with Shao Jun (not the Chronicles stuff) after Embers.

Forum Posts: 24265
Comment #4 by AshtimusPrime
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 04:01:31 PM
Some pretty damning stuff. Now Ubi will go the extreme opposite way to prove they're not sexist.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #5 by stuntlyd4
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 04:01:35 PM
Sometimes i wonder if most these 'alergations' are true, seems to be a 'guilty till proven innocent' vibe nowadays.

Same with other stuff nowadays too, playing guilt tricks, rampants without its true meaning, i say we really need an assassin for a revelation

Forum Posts: 300
Comment #6 by YoramS
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 04:06:50 PM
That Hascoët guy sounds like a fun boss

Forum Posts: 116
Comment #7 by Evguh
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 04:37:36 PM
Don't buy this at all. Syndicate had a female protagonist and the most recent game also had one. Just because one CEO is a sexist doesn't mean the entire "culture" there is. The Bloomberg article is a nonsense narrative designed to garner clicks. Many games have had dual male/female protagonists with no complaints about culture.

Forum Posts: 16
Comment #8 by LordShavron
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 04:44:52 PM
@7, prefacing this by saying I'm not arguing against you, but the article calls out the lack of games with a sole female protagonist. Syndicate you shared time with Jacob. The only mainline game where you only play as a female protagonist was Liberation, which was initially only released for Vita, which had a really small userbase.

Anyway, I agree with you that it's not fair to call the entire work culture sexist because of one CEO's actions. I'm a little curious to hear Jade Raymond's insight into this as one of the producers of the first few games in the series.

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #9 by aplay-may-cry
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 04:57:37 PM
I hate when ppl bring up Unity as sexist because you couldn't play as a female in co-op. When you could only play as the main character Arno and customize him to look different. I believe some of this like saying Kassandra is canon but not promoting her is weird. But to said female Characters are being held back why would they create Layla Hassan then? Complaining about Valhalla when Ubisoft has only shown 3 trailers is stretching.

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #10 by d3mystic
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 05:13:45 PM
@9 Agree with you. But with Unity, the issue was that Ubisoft tried to make it sound like they'd have to make everything from scratch and not use the already in-game models and assets for a female player, which I think they did use and helped them for female characters in the previous multiplayers.

Personally, I don't mind if it's a female or a male or a choice between the two or even a jar of mayo. As long as the story demands it and doesn't feel like it's been forced upon you, I'd happily play with that character regardless of their gender. I enjoy playing as Kratos, Dante or Nathan Drake, and I also enjoy playing as Aloy, Bayonetta or Lara because none of these characters felt forced on the player.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #11 by Sith4eveR
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 05:16:18 PM
In an interview a few months after the game came out, Odyssey's Game Director Scott Phillips said two-thirds of gamers chose Alexios, and they were surprised by that statistic. Is it an unfair assumption that there are more male Assassin Creed players? And of the number that chose Kassandra, how many were still male gamers who just wanted a female avatar?

Forum Posts: 497
Comment #12 by deviousdave
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 07:14:52 PM
There's a difference between a female protagonist and a Protagonist who happens to be female. I remember all Aya said in AC origins was how women could do stuff too. That infamous scene with Ceasar and the tower. Lara Croft, Aloy and Max Caulfield. All protagonists who were women and were not constantly calling attention to that fact. Thats how it should be protagonists who's character is more then their gender.

Forum Posts: 68226
Comment #13 by Terminator
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 08:16:36 PM
Bloomberg are a major source of lies and fake news so cannot be taken seriously at all!

@10-12: Spot on! If the story calls for a female lead, male lead or joint male and female leads then fair enough if that is the right choice for the story you're trying to tell. Frankly I couldn't care less who I play as in a game, just make them well written and give them a decent story with dialogue that doesn't sound like a moron wrote it. The worse thing you can do to any character, is demean them by having them there solely for political correctness reasons and/or to fill some asinine and arbitrary quota.

Forum Posts: 79
Comment #14 by BosmaniaK
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 09:05:14 PM
so tired of this shit
can't even be bothered to read it all

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #15 by aplay-may-cry
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 09:07:44 PM
@10 Yes Ubisoft did lie about the reason for not having female characters in Co-op. But if you look at the first Co-op trailer for Unity they showed Arno and 3 other characters with their face completely covered implying that they're unique characters. Ubisoft couldn't say the reason why they aren't any female characters is because it's just Arno Ubisoft would have lost pre-order.

Again do I believe some of this is true yes, But Ubisoft is one of few companies that takes criticism of their games seriously AC1, watchdogs, Unity, FC2, R6 siege, Division and For honor all were fixed or the sequel were better because of the criticism does Ubisoft learn from it? no. It just hard to believe that "we can't have a female lead because it won't sell well" but lets have 2 black lead characters in watchdogs 2 and Origins

Forum Posts: 82
Comment #16 by narvalia
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 11:06:49 PM
No matters what they said about Ubisoft. It has gone downhill after AC4 and I won't spend money for any of their game.

And yes it is sexist that more than half of the mercenary in odyssey are 7 foot tower of a women in greeces. totally historically accurate right? They did a Tlou2 prequel Lol.

Or the plank character you create in FC5 ...

Forum Posts: 2777
Comment #17 by 8BitArtist
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 @ 02:52:08 AM
lol, as soon as i saw the source was bloomberg, i knew this garbage was written by jason schreier

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Game Info
Ubisoft Québec


US October 05, 2018
Europe October 05, 2018
Japan October 05, 2018

Players: 1
Online Players : 0
ESRB: Mature
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