Study Shows That Assassin's Creed Games Are Often Played By Couples

Though Assassin's Creed games are often bought by men, women also play, Ubisoft says.

Concept art for Assassin's Creed Unity

Most Assassin's Creed games are purchased by men, but that doesn't mean women aren't also getting in on the action. Ubisoft executive Alain Corre tells The Wall Street Journal that studies have shown that couples often play Assassin's Creed games together.

"We've done some studies on this and, interestingly, we notice that many couples seem to be playing games like Assassin's Creed together," he said. "So while a game like Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed is predominantly purchased by males, it isn't necessarily played [just] by guys."

Presumably, Corre is talking about heterosexual couples. We have followed up with Ubisoft, asking for further results from the study, as well as details about methodology. These types of demographic surveys are often kept confidential, but we will update this post with anything we hear back from the French publisher.

Couples playing Assassin's Creed games together in the past needed to hand controllers back and forth, but

Corre's comments were made as part of The Wall Street Journal's wider story on the role of women in the video game industry today. The story also features a quote from The Division producer Fredrik Rundqvist, who said, "We see a big and fast increase in female players." In addition, The Sims 4 executive producer Rachel Franklin says half of The Sims' player base are women, and there is room to grow further.

"It is a demographic that clearly loves to play games," she said. "Women make up a huge part of the available gaming audience, and it is up to developers to decide whether or not to reach out to them."

According to the latest data [PDF] from The Entertainment Software Association, the group that represents the video game industry's interests on Capitol Hill, 48 percent of gamers in the United States are women. In addition, women age 18 or older make up a much larger portion of gamers (36 percent) than boys age 18 or younger (17 percent).

The topic of the representation of women in games has been a major talking point this year, following news out of E3 in June that Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 would not feature playable female characters. Opinions on the subject have flooded in, with some people saying Ubisoft was unfairly singled out, while others maintain that the industry should not shy away from the women-in-games discussion.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

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

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79 comments
ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

There are some games my girlfriend enjoys more watching me play than others. Games she does tend to watch are Assassins Creed, The last of us or any story druven game. She herself only plays sims and social / puzzle games with a few exceptions (like AoE2 or Diablo 3)

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

I gotta call BS on this.  I see more couples playing COD then AC.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

What would anyone get out of playing a single player Assassin's Creed together?

python1026
python1026

Im surprised that they were actually kinda right on that...

VakarianGirl
VakarianGirl

LOL whuuut?!  I'm a woman, and I am crazy about the AC franchise.  My husband hates it.

These sort of pigeon-holing comments and articles from Ubisoft are EXACTLY why they have issues relating to females.  It's like they see us as a completely different species.

justbefahad
justbefahad

You wouldn't believe it, but I actually impressed my neighbor's daughter (same age as me) by playing Assassin's Creed 2 in front of her while she was visiting us. And thus began our relationship...

Guess I gotta thank Ubi for that. :D

SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

Lol that's so funny... This was the first game my ex actually played with me. She was so into the story and always loved watching me play. It's interesting to see we weren't the only ones haha

DefconRave
DefconRave

I mean it IS basically a press x to win game so............*runs far far away*

ferna1234
ferna1234

the same way girls say "50 shades of grey is not porn, its literature", they say "assassin's creed is not a game, its history"

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Ie Guys make their girl friends play AC games with them.


Unless they are forever alone like me. :(

PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

I wish Jade Raymond was my Wife..... (-__-)

RATED-DX
RATED-DX

offtopic:
Anyone knows if "AC unity" will have horses, ships, and the capacity of swim under water?

gamer7736
gamer7736

How do they know this? Are they watching through the Kinect?

StephenSays
StephenSays

So that is why they didn't add female characters to the online component of the new game.

Waite what???

GregoryBastards
GregoryBastards

I need to get me one of those.

I mean a Gamer chik of course, not asscreed....definitely not asscreed.

grenadehh
grenadehh

Christ so with this info Ubi is now going to focus on co op.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

"Presumably, Corre is talking about heterosexual couples. We have followed up with Ubisoft, asking for further results from the study, as well as details about methodology. These types of demographic surveys are often kept confidential, but we will update this post with anything we hear back from the French publisher."


Eddieh!

Cryio
Cryio

My gf and games:


Flatout Ultimate Carnage: Success

Hot Pursuit 2010: Success

Portal 1/2: Failure

Prince of Persia The Sands of Time: Failure

Grand Theft Auto 3: Failure

Trine 1/2: Success

Tomb Raider Legend: Failure

Tomb Raider 2013: Failure

Assassin's Creed 1: Failure.

Brothers - A tale of two Sons: Success

L.A. Noire: Initial success, then: Failure


I'm so sad :(

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

"Presumably, Corre is talking about heterosexual couples."

For a moment there, I thought this was Kotaku. Gender disorder bandwagon much Gamespot?

alexbartle
alexbartle

You have to play as a couple because the missions get so repetitive that you need someone to take over for a while :)

Jew1
Jew1

I'd really like to see how they did their stats on this, both on how they collected their data and how they operationalized the term "playing". I don't doubt that some gf or wives watch their man play video games but I highly doubt most players who are in a relationship and own AC have their partner next to them the whole time the male is playing the game. I also highly doubt that a couple frequently takes turns playing the game as most people don't switch off every other mission and definitely hate it when someone yanks a controller out of your hands to beat a section for you because you are too terrible. I'll admit that ever girl I've dated has watched me play a game at some point during a relationship but I don't call that playing together. When Batman Arkham Origins and GTA5 came out one of my gf watched me play chunks of the games but differently didn't watch anywhere close to 50% of the game because she had her own stuff to do that couldn't be done sitting on a couch next to me while I play a game. And that's not playing, that's just watching. Now I have actually played a lot of games with various gf because we intentionally bought coop games to play together like halo or older games on the ps2. But AC, no. It's not coop, it's a very long game that has a lot of traversing, exploring, collectables and other miscellaneous stuff that few people are going to enjoy sitting there while you progress through the whole game from start to finish. Heck I'll admit that'll watch my friends play games on systems that I don't own but those are usually much more story driven games, or my roommate in college played a game while I played a game so I "watched" him play his games while I was also playing a game but by no means is that playing together. 

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

Were they actually 'playing' or just 'watching'? Regardless, my copy of the next AC will be just like my girlfriend: Non-existant.

wexorian
wexorian

Study shows that Human population are dumb , It also shows that PPL will buy every dlc and overmilked crap also.

ThrashMatt26
ThrashMatt26

Breaking News: Assassin's Creed: Unity pushed back to Valentine's Day 2015, now called Assassin's Creed: Unity of the Soul


Seriously Ubisoft, you're only saying this because you are pushing the romance angle of the game.

Tzardok
Tzardok

True, my wife and I really liked the Ezio Trilogy. We would take turns at tasks and see the narrative progress. Unity seems to be a great co-op game and I really am considering upgrading my other PC so we can co-op (we don't like split-screens at all - its either hot-seat or online).


But she and I do have some complaints we hope the story trend changes...


While the following is unrelated to the news story here (apologies for that) I do want to make a statement about their narrative in general for their series, read on if your curious or skip to the next comment and save yourself some time.  =)


-------------------------------------------------------------


To be honest I hope this time the story is actually interesting for the French Revolution. AC3 was a huge disappointment to me as AC2 made mentions of George Washington being a templar, that templars were part of the incentive to make the world change to capitalism which they deemed a more "predicable/controllable scenario". Yet, they made a 180 on that story, so naturally I was very disappointed at that, it created a contradiction in what was awesome in its originality. 


So, with Rogue announced, I hope that we will start seeing more shades of gray, than only biased points of view that Templars are evil and Assassins are good. In my view, I dislike the templar approach because it always fails in terms that someone controls the others as opposed to freedom in its ultimate form, which is what assassins claim to want, but is also a form of anarchy which is bad.


BUT, the other way around is also true, assassins are murders first and foremost on its codename, they mess up, they are terrorists, rebels, creating unbalance where they go. Templars do preach order, an orderly world where you know your rights and those are protected to you. Surely there is more to explore than labeling Templars evil and assassins good, they should focus on points of view instead, Templars have a philosophy and so do Assassins. There are some good templars, there some bad ones. There some good Assassins, there are some bad ones too. 


The theme must leave this Hollywood spectrum that is a simple and mostly not philosophical approach and do something more intriguing, where characters are truly complex, not ultimately one thing or the other, but varying combinations of both perspectives.


SPOILERS OF AC2, Brotherhood and Revelations!!!! 


Ezio was perhaps the best character for the series. He was charming, funny, got around with the ladies and life seemed to be too good in a time that sucked to most, than something terrible happened which was relatable to most of us. That changed him, he felt forced to take actions he did not agree in the name of revenge, but when he had that chance he chose not to take it, thus transcending anything the Assassin order could teach, later he starts to question the Creed itself and finally, he was done with the order and died a happy old man. Rarely we get to see a character from the moment they are born to the moment they die in the video game industry. Ezio was really everything that Altair, Connor and recently Edward could never be as their narratives are simple cookie cutters (each is very interesting in its on right, but Ubi did a poor job to capitalize on those different personas).


All is nothing more than my opinion of course, but I do urge and encourage the series to "grow-up" and show us that not everything is so simple, that there is no ultimate good or ultimate evil, that things tend to be a lot more complicated than they seem. Given that love affair with the templar girl is in Unity, I am hoping for something like that.


Personally I would love to play as Julius Gaius Caeser (a Templar by AC's lore, assassinated by the Assassin Brutus) during his northern campaign (no need to focus in Rome itself as the series has done that too much already), focus on the other settings, barbarians, meeting Cleopatra in Alexandria. Wow, if the current AC engine can handle 30000 french citizens they sure as hell can manage battles between 5000 Romans and another 5000 barbarians. Imagine being Caeser, building up your fortresses, inspecting troops (in their formations), building up strength and then using them to assault key locations during awesome battles and sieges. Explore Julius popularity with the people, while showing his mistakes in politics that would lead him to his eventual downfall. It would be so epic... especially since you know he is doomed in the end... I would love to play that indeed.


orbit991
orbit991

You guys realize this just marketing/pr bs aimed at that demographic right?

Setzera
Setzera

I believe this study, I'd often want to play AC, but my girlfriend would often buy the game and play the whole thing, while I sat there thinking I wished it was co-op.


That's why I'm so excited with AC Unity, it'll be the first AC I play longer than 15 min.  I'm very much in to co-op only.

chipface-z
chipface-z

@VakarianGirl That's basically how it is with my girlfriend and I.  She loves the games, I don't enjoy them at all.  I tried playing the first and second games but just couldn't get into them.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

My girlfriend loves watching story based games I play, she was really mad at me for playing the first 4 hours of mass effect 3 without her. However, I've gotten her addicted to fantasy RPGs, and I think she needs rehab now.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

My girlfriend loves watching story based games I play, she was super pissed at me for playing the first 4 hours of mass effect 3 without her. However, I've gotten her addicted to fantasy RPGs, and I think she needs rehab now.

justbefahad
justbefahad

@RATED-DX No ships have been confirmed from what I have heard, and I haven't spotted a single horse in the trailers (though they do feature haystacks, which is....odd). I don't know about under-water swimming, but I guess it could be adapted to land water, from what I have seen in The Witcher 3.

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

@StephenSays Well, everybody's playing the main character in their games, so that would require that they change the freaking story.

yatesypr2
yatesypr2

@Cryio LA Noire tests came back with the same results for me :(

grenadehh
grenadehh

@Cryio My GF was better than I was at AC1. And Darksiders 1.


Then I played it through again and so now I'm good at it. Darksiders meh don't much care.

flaw600
flaw600

@Bellum_Sacrum No. The reason that was specified is b/c this study was in relation to men playing vs women playing

grenadehh
grenadehh

@Jew1 I do too because Grand Theft Equus is a single player game. You start out presumably intending to do a mission, then you jump on a roof and then fight 30 guards and steal a horse and end up just screwing around - same as GTA. So it's not like they're even watching you do anything important that would interest them.

grenadehh
grenadehh

@Tzardok  I didn't play it but I'm pretty sure Tyranny was that original plot you refer to. I'm pretty sure you missed something, too, because Ezio didn't shun revenge. He killed Cesare. He killed the Pope. He became the master assassin of the entire order and was basically its leader for decades thanks to the prolonged life given by the apple until he buried himself with it.


Not to mention the series has had nothing to do with Rome.


Renaissance Rome is a completely different place than Classical Rome, and a return there would be excellent. If anyone's ever played Shadow of Rome from Capcom, on PS2, it was a great game, and AC could easily mirror a lot of it's gameplay.


Not to mention there would be no purpose in an AC game emulating the Gallic campaigns because, well, it's a game about assassinating and plot. There were no assassinations and plots and intrigue in De Bello Gallico - just war.


I'm not saying I don't like your idea, I do, but it would just be so tangential to Assassin's Creed it would have to be its own game. And it would have to be made by Creative Assembly, like they did with Spartan Total Warrior. Except this would be 10 years of technological improvement behind it.

Jew1
Jew1

@Tzardok Finally someone knows what he's talking when it comes to AC

aeluron1989
aeluron1989

@chipface-z @VakarianGirl It's not always going to apply to you guys personally. If they have actual data then good. I don't know why you would qq about it since not everyone is you.

Tzardok
Tzardok

@grenadehh @Tzardok First of, thanks for sharing your comment. =)


I did think on some of these items.


Tyranny DLC for AC3 did take the original approach of "evil George Washington" as inspiration, however it made it so that it clearly an alternate reality than a story inspired by historical facts, while it was certainly interesting, it was not quite what we come to expect for the series narrative. Ultimately though, you are right, Tyranny is a direct inspiration from the original plot hook established in the Ezio Trilogy.


HEAVY SPOILER WARINING for casual readers.


As for Ezio's revenge, he was an Assassin after all, so he did kill. But when he had Rodrigo Borgia in his hands at the conclusion of AC2, the mastermind behind Ezio's family execution/persecution, Ezio chose not to kill Rodrigo, the Pope. In Brotherhood, at the beginning and later a very interesting conversation between Rodrigo Borgia (the Pope) and his son, Cesare Borgia, it is revealed that Rodrigo also chose to leave Ezio alone after the event in AC2, but that Cesare chose to attack Ezio as a show of dominance/force/influence, thus forcing Ezio realize that he could not hope for peace as long as this particular chain of Templars was not eliminated. Also, Cesare Borgia killed his father with the poison apple, not Ezio, but eventually Ezio did kill Cesare (though Cesare was a bastard to begin with, there was really no alternative to let him live). Ezio builds up the order during Brotherhood, but in Revelations during loading when he is writting to his sister, Claudia, he mentions the contradictions made by the very core of the creed. Finally Ezio was not buried with the Apple, Altair was the one that was and Ezio found it later, though I admit I don't recall the Apple prolonging life as you mentioned (like the Ring of power from Lotr, that part was not made clear to me).


As for the Rome setting, Jade Raymond (game producer) does try to direct the series to different, unusual times and places we are not accustomed to in gaming, so while I would like to see the heart of the Roman Empire in its glory days, which indeed was very different then when compared to the Renaissance, I have played that a lot. Rome makes an appearance at the end of AC2 and is almost the sole city in Brotherhood, even if they were different between the time gap, the monuments will be the same (albeit in better condition). Many games have explored Rome recently and I believe Jade Raymond wants to be different than the rest of the competition, this is why I proposed alternate settings as opposed to focus mainly on Rome. Rome would still play a part though, Julius Caeser is murdered at the senate so Rome not making a cameo would also be unlikely, but I rather see different places than going back to Rome (even if on a drastically different time).


As for the Gallic Campains and purpose of assassinations plot, I would hope a game about a Templar is not as generic as an Assassin gameplay re-skin (it seems to be the case with Rogue, sadly, but the main dude was an Assassin before Templar so I will let this one slide), it would need to be a different gameplay than purely assassination. I don't like the extensive exposures the Templars have in assassinations themselves, while it makes sense after the crusades (they start operating in the shadows) it does not make a lot of sense prior to that when they had many armies and institutions, heck in real history templars created the concept of banking (one of the reasons the Pope decided to hunt down and kill them all, they would become more powerful than the church itself if left unchecked). Eventually I do agree that there is not a lot of documented intrigues in the Gallic Wars, but there are a lot of orchestrated betrayals and ambushes against Romans armies, look into General Germanicus Gallic Campaign to recover the 3 lost eagles (sadly this is after Julius Caeser), if you like, look at the events that made Caeser Augustus send Germanicus to the Nothern frontier and recover Roman face/honor/power, it was a direct response to one very elaborate betrayal planned by a roman-educated barbarian prince whose name now escapes me, its very cool and must have really hurt the Roman pride as they battled for 3 horrible days until the 3 legions were killed and captives taken that would be released by Germanicus only some decades later.


Spartan Total War and Viking Battle for Asgard are really interesting examples, they lacked a lot of polishing and open-world and certainly a huge chunk of lore, but you are right, a game inspired by some of those ideas and made better could work. I play battle for Asgard once every year, but most of the time I am playing it, I keep imagining how much more it could have been.


Once again, thanks for sharing and feel free to share some more or point any discrepancies that may have happened here, the text was fairly large in the end. =)

Setzera
Setzera

@cboye18 No, unfortunately I don't think it will, but we have 2 gaming ready PC's already.  We learned that local co-op is becoming increasingly hard to find, so we made the choice to have 2 PC's, and thankfully ACU is coming to Steam.  We also have 2 PS3's, but not PS4's.


Perhaps one day, local co-op will be big again.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

My girlfriend and I started doing online co-op due to us both hating split screen. We discovered this during borderlands 2, and that game actually improved our relationship with a better teamwork aspect. I do plan on using local for diablo 3 on my ps4.

Setzera
Setzera

@canuckbiker  I've often heard a saying, couples that game together, stay together.  It's not the only way of course, but you're definitely right about improving teamwork, which goes a long way in a relationship.