All mainline entries in the Assassin's Creed franchise have starred male protagonists, including the just-announced Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. But could a future installment feature a leading lady?
"It's a bit of a tough question," Black Flag game director Ashraf Ismail told IGN.
Ismail explained that Ubisoft had planned out a story arc revolving around the Kenway family for a long time. This arc was always going to focus on Edward, Haytham, and Connor, he said.
"This was actually years ago, we had this," Ismail said, adding "we actually never thought, 'could this be a woman?'"
For Black Flag, Ismail added that though there were a handful of famous female pirates, this was uncommon. "So we didn't want that element to be a detail people got stuck on," he said.
PlayStation Vita game Assassin's Creed III: Liberation featured a female lead, but would a mainline entry in the series do the same?
"I would say it wouldn't be surprising to see a female assassin coming up in a mainline Assassin's Creed," Ismail said. "But for us, for AC4, it was always Edward."
Epic Games art director Chris Perna said in February that female lead characters for the Gears of War series could negatively impact a game's sales potential. "If you look at what sells, it's tough to justify something like that," he said at the time.
IGN asked Ismail if keeping with a male protagonist was a branding decision for the Assassin's Creed series, and he said the idea of a female assassin for future games is not off the table.
"I actually don't know what the brand team is working on for the next few games," he said. "But the concept of a female assassin, I can tell you it's not a no-no, it's not something we're trying to avoid at all."
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is due out October 29 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Wii U, and other next-generation platforms. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.