Assassin's Creed III female hero would be a 'pain,' says developer

Creative director on upcoming stealth action game says American Revolution is "the history of men"; having a female assassin among men would "feel kind of wrong."

Ubisoft steered clear of making the Assassin's Creed III protagonist a female character because the game's setting is not a strong match, according to creative director Alex Hutchinson. Speaking to Kotaku, Hutchinson said the American Revolution time period is all about men.

Connor is the hero of Assassin's Creed III. He is a man.

"It's always up in the air," Hutchinson said. "I think lots of people want it, [but] in this period it's been a bit of a pain. The history of the American Revolution is the history of men."

"There are a few people, like John Adams' wife, [Abigail]--they tried very hard in the [HBO series John Adams] to not make it look like a bunch of dudes, but it really is a bunch of dudes," he added.

The Assassin's Creed franchise has bent the books of history before, but Hutchinson admitted that doing so in Assassin's Creed III could be problematic.

"It felt like, if you had all these men in every scene and you're secretly, stealthily in crowds of dudes [as a female assassin], it starts to feel kind of wrong," he said. "People would stop believing it."

Assassin's Creed III is due out in North America on October 30 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U, with a European release slated for Halloween. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's latest preview.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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555 comments
female_assassin
female_assassin

No if it were a game based solely on the revolutionary war I accept it being a guy only but its not also like a couple people said one there have been female assassins in History I mean look at Japan their were women who were Ninja and a female equal to Samurai and two give the option to choose purest can stick with being a guy and girls who like the game can be well a girl they just proved they are male chauvinistic and believe women are weak

silta
silta

....and guess what? I'm not buying it. It's a poor creator who blames their tools for their laziness or unwillingness to create. If you're not creative enough to work out how an assassin (they work unseen y'know) cannot be female then you don't get my money because I'm sick of playing as a man. Games would have me believe the population is 95% male and that is unrealistic, not having a female lead. Plenty of unrealistic stories in the main plot, I think a female option isn't really going to stand out. jfc, really. Just make it an option. Pick female or male at the start up. Purists can choose to play a man, those of us who prefer otherwise get to choose otherwise instead of side eyeing and rejecting your game.

silta
silta

....and guess what? I'm not buying it. It's a poor creator who blames their tools for something they cannot do. If you're not creative enough to work out how an assassin (they work unseen y'know) cannot be female then you don't get my money because I'm sick of playing as a man. Plenty of unrealistic stories in the main plot, I think a female option isn't really going to stand out. jfc, really. Just make it an option. Pick female or male at the start up. Purists can choose to play a man, those of us who prefer otherwise get to choose otherwise instead of side eyeing and rejecting your game.

tarth74
tarth74

are you kidding me? the plot is already ludicrous enough; a guy reliving his ancestor's lives through  a machine that uses his dna to create the simulation...... if we can get our heads around that I'm pretty sure we can handle a female assassin, especially since the cannon it's self has already stated that there have been female assassins throughout history.

Shishio817
Shishio817

Yes! As a history person I'm always glad when people actually try to be accurate!

dover236
dover236

female assassins are cool i wouldn't say no to it but i don't know having a male is kind of the thing of assassins creed i'm buying this GAME <3

earth2april18
earth2april18

I agree with the a female being problematic in the setting at hand, but I mean, would it be possible to have an assassin creed game with a female lead. Its just that the power and stealth, always being demonstrated by a male character could also work with that of a female. A female character also looks incredible in terms of stealth and conducting hardcore parkour. That is the only thing that I think that could possibly make an Assassin's Creed game any better. I love the dark, unraveling secrets to be uncovered, and simply the ability to flaunt ninja skills in almost any fashion!

 

gamepro0062
gamepro0062

I don't mind having  a female lead if it makes sense. If they were to switch it to Lucy's POV, then okay, but putting a female lead as Desmond's ancestors when his ancestors so far have been male (who also, all look like him) is weird. So I see the developer's point, it would be a pain.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

does anyone remember the trailer or at least a part of it which was shown in this year's bluffer's guide ,you know  the one  where there was this female who was carrying a spear and doing some sort of air assassination?it was a game by Ubisoft wasn't it?people thought it was AC3 at first. does anyone have any idea what that game is based on or whether it's even gonna come?

isshiah
isshiah

it makes sense for the era, but i sense we'll get one eventually. if they did use a female character, they could show her overcoming the sexism of the time. that would make it interesting, where as showing people suddenly being open minded wouldn't make sense. like an openly gay man being the main character of MAD MEN. besides, not every female character has to be "empowered". i'm sick of all this treading on egg shells when it comes to sex and race. the devs shouldn't need to explain how much they respect women and aren't racists and homophobes. just use whatever character you want and be done with it. all this apologizing and carefully worded statements are ridiculous. also, the people saying that a female assassin would be 'sexy' are precisely the reason female characters usually end up being one dimensional lust magnets. finally, historical accuracy applies to the world around the assassin order. ezio wasn't real, but the buildings he climbed were, for the most part.

Snyper22
Snyper22

I can see how they could make female assassins work but because they are so far in production already its just not plausible. The Story line would have to be changed completely considering how women were perceived back then. Im not saying it wouldn't work, hell it'd probably have more of a poetic justice kind of feel to it as well as making you more immersed in the story line. Also be a bit more satisfying to assassinate the men of that era as a female, in a way to show that they could be just as formidable. But put that aside we all know this probably wont happen it would be a step backwards in production right now, we can only hope that they'll listen to the fans for the next sequel and hope this one holds to its hype.

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

@zenstrata It wouldn't fit this time period because of the culture of this period. I think it would be pretty cool to have a female assassin as the main character of an AC game but it just doesn't fit this era in history

THE_BEN1999
THE_BEN1999

But then again, there were two aggrasive female pirates called Anne Bonney and Mary Read (well, i think thats their name anyway

THE_BEN1999
THE_BEN1999

I'm not sexist in any way, shape or form, but i think a female assassin wouldn't be as agresive because you don't really hear of female killers as much as men. But i think it's good that they include a variety of females in the online

zenstrata
zenstrata

What?! I have been wondering where the female leads were in this series. It desperately needs one. Kind of wrong? where the heck does that come from? Women were present in all periods of these histories. And there are plenty of very famous ones too! It seems this post was edited by someone random, they removed my listing of famous women during the american civil war. They also removed my account of the women who joined the military on both sides while posing as men. I find that somewhat disturbing. Is there some problem with listing famous historical figures?

SangoHime
SangoHime

The author was clearly trying to create controversy with this article - it got me to click on it. I can see what Hutchinson is saying, but he did choose some of his words poorly (those that are quoted above). That said, it would be possible for a female assassin to exist in this time period, as they have before. For one, she could pass for a man as many women have throughout history. Sneaking around in crowds is not as big a problem as he claims. The character is wearing thick layers and a friggn' hood. He is much more likely to stick out as a native american in such a racist time period. If choosing between the sexes for their character, I can see how male would be a simpler choice. Though, facing the challenges of having a female character might have added some interesting elements to the game. Just don't make it out like it's impossible and unrealistic for there to have been a female assassin in this place in time. What other profession would a violent female deviant take up in that time?

EL1CHEF
EL1CHEF

i hope they don't remove double air assassination cause that would SUCK

x_Luvibunni_x
x_Luvibunni_x

I agree with him, plus we get more fit assassin eye candy, like Ezio in his prime @_@ as a girl gamer I feel more than content with female characters in the online modes of the past two games ^_^

NadCAtarun
NadCAtarun

@moviequest14 XD XD XD XD XD You forgot about 300 spelling mistakes in your imitation of a troll ;) I used to let trolls get to me, years ago, when I was a teen and discovering internet and so terribly naive... Thankfully, I've grown up now and I don't care anymore. I do appreciate the opportunity you gave me for a real discussion. It's nice to meet a human being who genuinely doesn't agree with me. ^^ And while there are innocent people and real victims, there is no such thing as an innocent/victim demographic, I'll give you that. There are even misogynist women... -_-

moviequest14
moviequest14

@NadCAtarun : ARE YOU SERIOUSLY CALLING ME SEXIST?!?!1111??1??!!! WTF!!!1!!!!1!!!!111!!!!! Sorry...saw online debate and realized that there wasn't nearly enough yelling yet :P I personally don't take offense to it,I for the most part could care less what they think of me,I don't wake up to please them,I'm not easily offended.However my point I was making to smokescreen was that men are called much worse than 'bulls' or 'roosters' ,hell,I've seen men called bulls...except 3 letters were added on.Women aren't completely innocent targets as she (I assume) made them out to be.While I'm not offended by most/any of it it is out there just as female sexism is.

DemonsWrath11
DemonsWrath11

Would like to see that to break up the usual male-only characters but this game a male character, connor, seems to fit better as he describe it was a bunch of dudes. Back in renassance Italy it could have worked and i'm sure some seduction tactics could have been employed which would be a great way to gain maximum info about something being the that u get straighter facts and from a guy at blade point. Though in This time period if there was a female native american assassin people would turn and look.

EL1CHEF
EL1CHEF

i think he is right. In a crowd of all male a female would stand out like a sore thumb , now if they have made a game in egypt times that would have been a better setting for a female

NadCAtarun
NadCAtarun

@moviequest14 You're very welcome. It is so refreshing to have a debate online. ^^ As I said, I am against abortions and for birth control: unwanted pregnancies should NEVER happen, as far as I am concerned. I do hope, though, that if I ever get pregnant as a result of rape, abortion will be an option... For all other cases, I want women and men to take precautions any time they do not intend to procreate. And no, being among the demographic that practices something means you're less likely to notice it, not more. Exactly the same way I do not see most sexism practiced by females against males... It's not targeted at me, so I don't see it whenever it's subtle and it's practiced by my group, so it seems normal to me, not offensive. It really is the same for all discriminations. It's much harder to notice when you're not the target... And I'm sorry you feel offended by so much sexism targeted at men (which I do not see myself, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that it is rare ;).

100proofsoco
100proofsoco

@somefreaknfella +1 for your usage of the word "wang"

moviequest14
moviequest14

@NadCAtarun : I would say I agree on you with planned parent-hood as far as that goes,my apologies,but I usually group the 2 together.Rape is usually the excuse-case (no offense meant to you by that) as a way of excusing all abortion (again not implying you are saying such) but that would be the same as saying ''Since it would be alright for me to shoot a person that is attacking me it should be alright for me to shoot everyone.'' You know quite that out of the million+ abortions a year (3,000+ each day) a very small percentage is due to rape.So it isn't quite right to justify the actions of millions through a small percentage of cases.Rather funny,I would've considered a more accurate description a massive Sir Loin :P I would say I agree with you 100% on that,that is why I enjoyed the last gen so much as there were 'action' games (ie. Killzone,Resident Evil,San Andreas,etc.) but they were in equal balance with other games (ie. Ratchet and Clank , Smash Bros. , Mario Sunshine , Jak & Daxter , Soul Calibur 4 , etc.) and I would definitely agree that that balance is way off today. Normal classic platformers (3d or 2d) are about as common (on ps3/360) as bioshock is on wii.And most of all I should see quite a bit of it if I am in the male groups who supposedly practice it most. and thanks again! :D

NadCAtarun
NadCAtarun

@moviequest14 Blasted word limit. ^^ 4) I see no inherent problem with a violent and male-centered game. I play and enjoy a few of them myself. The problem really is that they are the norm. It's like vegetables. I'm not fond of them, but I do eat some every once in a while... If 80% of restaurants were vegan and there was barely anything else to be found in supermarkets, you bet I'd be pissed. That is the current state of the gaming industry as I see it. 5) Sexism isn't uncommon, it's pervasive. You don't see it because you are not the target, the same way you don't see racism and homophobia and other forms of discrimination. Nothing I say would convince you that something you do not see or feel exists everywhere around you... Please try to read the Macho Paradox by Jackson Katz. He is a man, so you might be able to relate to him more than to me. It might help.

NadCAtarun
NadCAtarun

@moviequest14 You still seem like a sensible guy, so let me try to emphasize a few thing I think you missed. 1) Only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion. The rest is birth control and health care (including cancer prevention). So defunding PP isn't just about abortion rights. 2) I'm not for abortions myself. I am for unwanted pregnancies to never happen. But people like Rick Santorum are against birth control as well. So what? Married women should all be housewives, in-and-out of pregnancies up until they rich menopause or die in labor? Or should they deny any sexual activity to their husbands? Rape by a husband on his wife wasn't recognized as a rape a few decades ago... maybe that law will roll back as well. 3) What about rape? I've never had sex and I don't plan to have it so I don't take the pill. If I am raped, chances are I'll become pregnant. Should I be forced to bear my rapist's child? Would you still say I had a choice I could have made 9 months prior and therefore should bear the full responsibility?

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@ Red122 Huh. I was not aware of that. Reading into it, agent 355 sounds like the ideal launch point for a character, considering Ubi seems to like to take relative unknowns in history with potential and turn them into something big.

Red122
Red122

I guess Ubisoft hasn't heard or read much about the American Revolution and the Culper Spy ring? Women were key players like Sarah Townsend and Agent 355 code named lady.

vannacut
vannacut

eddie makuch is an undercover kotaku agent, come on man, you guys cant gather your own news from the sources? why not just link the news section to kotaku instead of telling us the story second hand...

moviequest14
moviequest14

@NadCAtarun : And I would very much agree that there are way too many violence-only based games out there...not that they are wrong..I enjoy an fps every now and then as much as the next person..but it is indeed a *Genre* but is treated as the only type of game this generation.Last generation was an absolutely fantastic one imo as it included great platformers (I've enjoyed Ratchet and Clank better than many mario games) mixed in with a lot of other genres but this generation has gone almost solely to action games instead with non-action AAA games being far the exception (like Portal 2 and Rayman Origins).My main point at smokescreen was that guys do take quite a bit of opposite sexism,and while I would agree there is (female) sexism out there,it is rather uncommon in the way smokescreen is describing it in the majority of areas gamespot users are at.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@NadCAtarun : While I agree with you on most levels,I strongly disagree on planned parenthood.Yes I do believe women have the right to choose whether to have a baby or not...they made that possible choice 9 months earlier.Saying women have no choice to become pregnant is like saying that a fairy comes at night and just makes them have a baby...by the time any woman is old enough to erm.. 'have a baby' they easily have the knowledge of what might happen.What if the baby is female? That would be another female not having the choice...and to finish my opinion on the topic.. 2 of some of the most important and influential people in my life (aside from family members) survived failed abortions...as had/had several friends of mine...do you wish to tell me to tell them that they are practicing misogyny for being alive? That their mother has more of a right to convenience of life than they do their life?

Soothsayer42
Soothsayer42

I don't mind about the characters gender. As long as the characters have memorable moments and a good voice acting. For ACIII, the devs better start working on something new, I got bored by their milkings

NadCAtarun
NadCAtarun

@moviequest14 Sorry to intervene in your dialog with Smokescreened84, but I feel I must tell you that there is plenty of misogyny everywhere still all around the globe. A lot of women still live in oppressive cultures where they can't do most jobs (or any), can't drive, can't refuse a marriage proposal, can't study, etc. Right now, in the US, a lot of Republicans are pushing to defund Planned Parenthood, defund birth control and make abortion illegal or at least shame women into not exercising their right to one. In 2012. In the USA. Online, misogyny is everywhere but it will never be targeted at you, so you're probably missing it. Take a look at this: http://skepchick.org/2011/12/reddit-makes-me-hate-atheists/ The media have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go for women not to be misrepresented. You might want to watch the documentaries Killing Us Softly and Miss Representation as well as all the videos of Feminist Frequency. If you want something less serious, try Target: Women (the show stopped a few years ago, but it's very worth watching).

NadCAtarun
NadCAtarun

@moviequest14 As for Duke Nukem Forever, I can't speak for my gender, obviously, but I can tell you why I'm pretty silent about it: if it had been a great game, I might have tried it and then, surely, I would have complained everywhere about the misogyny... but it ranked pretty high on the pantheon of abysmal game design failures, so I basically stood away and laughed at it very hard.

NadCAtarun
NadCAtarun

@moviequest14 There are two completely distinct issues here: 1) Hutchinson is a troll-feeder and to imply that realism had anything to do with any decision regarding Assassin's Creed is ludicrous and disrespectful. 2) Media in general under-represent and unfairly represent women, as if we were a minority, which we are not. Now, I agree that with video games, it might simply be because most of them adopt extremely violent settings that are not really suitable for female leads. But then we must wonder why so many games adopt extremely violent settings and I am led to the same kind of conclusions: game publishers very much want to pander to cis straight male teens whom they think are only ever interested in guns and boobs. It's their base, if you will. The stereotypical customer they have in mind when they make their choices (regardless of realism). I do not think this base really is the majority (I know plenty of cis straight men of varied ages who are interested in guns, boobs but also thousands of other things) and I think pandering so is dangerous because media shapes reality in a way that no publisher accepts accountability for (and there can be no freedom of expression without accountability).

Ryozo
Ryozo

soulless4now: that is a reasonable hope. Either of the World War eras might work for this (as I recall, Mata Hari was a famous WW1 spy, and the Soviets were not shy about women putting in some work in WW2 (which they called the 'Great Patriotic War') - look up 'Night Witches' for an example).

FatmanAB
FatmanAB

hes right imagining a new ability KITCHEN to craft foods and midicine

soulless4now
soulless4now

I hope one of the future games will feature a female protagonist.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@Smokescreened84 : I never said that some of the criticism some guys receive isn't just....but my point was,yes,guys are called much worse than 'bulls' or 'roosters' and I've never done a thing to any woman.So why should I get called by that hmm? I for one see little if any at all sexist attitudes towards women now-a-days...yes,there are the occasional simpleton jocks that do such just as they say offensive things to practically everyone...but the majority of guys I know don't do such things at all.Why is it that I do see literally no sexist (against women ) posts on facebook or talk but continue to see a ton of the opposite?

moviequest14
moviequest14

@NadCAtarun : Thank you again :D What I'm saying is....when you look at at most games in the market are action games with your usual generic action theme to them (war,adventure,etc.) and it is pretty set in history that,while women have taken parts in violence,it is rather rare,Assassin's Creed III can't because....right,wrong,or indifferent women were very much 'house-keepers' and stayed at home...and (not insulting their morals as what was right/acceptable was a completely different standard for everyone then) the historical figures said Assassin would be communicating with would probably not accept the help/be comfortable with a female assassin except for spying/non-violent murders.If you think about it there are really few games out there that can put a female lead in without shoe-horning her in where she doesn't even fit.There are a couple exceptions to that but it is pretty steady across the current (over-saturated some would say) shooter/action market.But I must ask...(not necessarily of you but in general) why are many women more offended by the lack of female characters instead of how the current ones are treated? I was quite surprised to find the most people offended by the horrible treatment of women in games like Duke Nukem were actually men instead of women...from what I've seen they remained mostly silent on the subject....

Henninger
Henninger

I think a female assassin would b great. But i agree with Hutchinson. A female assassin in that time period wouldnt make sense.

pwncakes52
pwncakes52

Sorry Ladies. HAHAHA like there's women on these sites!

nayce54
nayce54

We will we see what Sandra Fluke has to say about this

Baudrillard85
Baudrillard85

Right, because sneaking arround unnoticed wearing an ostentatious hooded cloak and carrying a small arsenal on your person is much more believable when it's a man and not a woman. Isn't the whole point of the Assassins that they're a secret society of enlightened freedom fighters, anyway? What does 'historical accuracy' even have to do with it?

Hurvl
Hurvl

Female/male, hetero/homo shouldn't be decided on what is most politically correct or whatever buzzword you use. If the story allows, one might have a different lead than usual, otherwise not.

female_assassin
female_assassin

@tarth74 agreed you come up with this crap but a female assassin that's what would break the story?

female_assassin
female_assassin

@gamepro0062 Okay smart guy did these ancestors reproduce asexually cause if not then he would have women in his blood fucking line

silta
silta

 @THE_BEN1999 That's because they manage to not get caught. Only unsucessful killers get caught and females have a track record at hiding it better. i.e. poisons instead of running down the street with a sword.