The discussion around women in games has intensified since Ubisoft announced at E3 2014 that Assassin's Creed Unity would not feature any playable female characters. Now, a pair of cosplayers at this weekend's GaymerX2 conference have poked fun at Ubisoft's decision, specifically jabbing at one Ubisoft designer's statement that women are more difficult to animate than men.
The photo above comes from Feminist Frequency creator Anita Sarkeesian. It shows two cosplayers dressed in cardboard boxes that have the words "BOOBS?" and "2 HARD TO RENDER" written on them. They are also wielding inflatable Assassin's Creed swords.
This is a clear reference to the words of Ubisoft technical director James Therien, who said during E3 last month that female characters were going to be included in Assassin's Creed Unity, but were scrapped because of the additional work that would have been involved.
"It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it's a question of focus and production," Therien said at the time. "So we wanted to make sure we had the best experience for the character." He also said that if female characters were indeed included, Ubisoft would have had to "redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes." In effect, "It would have doubled the work on those things. And I mean it's something the team really wanted, but we had to make a decision... It's unfortunate, but it's a reality of game development."
This assertion (which would be contested by a former Ubisoft employee) set off a debate about the topic of women in games. Ubisoft issued a formal statement on the matter, saying the company recognizes the "valid concern around diversity in video game narrative." Rust developer Garry Newman says it would "undoubtedly" be a good thing if there were more female protagonists in video games, but maintains that Ubisoft was unfairly singled out.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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