The real problem with AC unity: Ubisoft Development

I'm gonna keep this relatively concise and cut the crap out what (to some people's chargin) has been one of the gaming stories of the week. First off, I'm going to take gender completely out of the equation after this part here, it's a topic that people get sensitive and distracted about either way, and neither side really communicates anything that way. So if you're bothered by that coming up around this, read on.

The real problem is with the development process. One of two thing's is seriously wrong with Ubisoft's claim, I'm inclined to think both. First off it was probably decided early on that you would only play as one character in the game, single or multiplayer, and making any other character male or female was just never considered because they wanted to build all modes around the one chatracter. But creative reasons weren't the reasons they stated, and that's why this became a thing. 

The other issue is cost. If your mutliplayer mode can't even support the concept of different male player chaacters without large expensive, something about the development process of having a shared pipeline between studios based in Montreal-based team, in conjunction with nine other studios from Toronto, Kiev, Singapore, Shanghai, Annecy, Montpellier, Bucharest, Quebec and Chengdu. Bear in mind that Ubisoft Toronto ALONE is over 800 people. And the fact 10 seperate studios are working on unity had already been confirmed.

This all points to from narrow pre-production and a stilted development process. If the animation rigging wasn't made unisex, or even to support other kinds of males, that just limits the usefullness of the resource to begin with, and if adding any other character is prohibitively expensive to do, then you're doing something wrong. I at least, am complaining about their statements because the development process isn't agile enough to incorporate changes. The team claims that playing as a female character was  'until very recently', they also claim the game has been in development since 2010. If it took you the better part of 4 years and being months away from release to decide you couldn't finish doing such work for something so baseline on your build list, then something needs to change. With an october release date, and with starting 4 years ago, you're either in far enough that you have to se it through to justify your investment, or you weren't working on the feature at all in order to cut it 'very recently'. 

To be clear, I don't think I or many other people are actually talking about the AC: Unity statements because we want/expect them to make an insincere change to pander to pressure, it's questioning the reason not to state creative reasons and how bloated you can let a development process get when these games are being officially revealed and released within months of the two events. I mean, we'd be complaining about it too if Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was announced and every player had to be willhelm.

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Comment by Abel2Disable on June 17, 2014 at 8:07pm

I agree it seems Ubisoft wasn't honest with their reasoning for not including a female character. That's not cool, no one likes being lied to. I do believe it was simply a creative decision, as you mentioned. Ubisoft was in a tough situation answering that question. If they say it was a creative decision, does that absolve them of all scrutiny that's commonly associated with the 'gender in gaming' topic? I don't think so. Not everyone, especially those sensitive to the subject, respect creative decision. Seems like Ubisoft was just trying to avoid a shit storm by saying it wasn't possible. No matter the reasoning, there will always be criticism surrounding this topic, it's unavoidable. They should've just been honest. Only in this case, the truth shall not set you free.

Comment by Rowan - AzureCantabile on June 17, 2014 at 8:11pm

Don't you remember? Nothing is true. :P

But no, really I think there's bigger implications about the flawed paradigm of having 10 studios work on an assassin's creed game every year and one of them work on a game for 3 years in secret to annoucne it a couple of months before going gold.

And as for gender... I'm tired of just getting replies that have nothing to do with what I said, I'm not getting into that again. People just hear what they want to hear.

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