"It's really depressing because we almost...we were inches away from having you be able to select a girl or a guy as your co-op buddy when you invite someone in," director Alex Hutchinson said in an interview with Polygon. "And it was purely a workload issue because we don't have a female reading for the character; we don't have all the animations," he continued. "And so it was this weird issue where you could have a female model that walked and talked and jumped like a dude."
Hutchinson said he expects this to become less of an issue in the future as technology improves and things are planned out in advance. "We had very strong voices on the team pushing for that, and I really wanted to do it; we just couldn't squeeze it in in time," he said. "But on the other hand, we managed to get more of the other story characters to be women."
"We did our best. It's frustrating for us as it is for everybody else, so it's not a big switch that you can just pull and get it done."
This is particularly notable because of the controversy that has emerged around Assassin's Creed Unity. That game, too, will not offer a playable female character option. Ubisoft technical director James Therien claimed in an interview that including a female would cause the developer's work to be "doubled," a point which has since been refuted by a former Assassin's Creed animator. Ubisoft issued an official statement today saying it will "continue to look at showcasing diverse characters. We look forward to introducing you to some of the strong female characters in Assassin's Creed Unity."
Far Cry 4 has had a strong showing at E3 this week. The shooter offers a new co-op mode that lets players freely explore the game's world together. It also allows you to fly around in a gyrocopter and ride on an elephant. For more, check out the first five minutes of the game in action, which offers a look at the game's insane new villain.