Ubisoft boss not happy with the assumption that gamers only want chainsaws and girls in bikinis

Jade Raymond says, "Not all gamers are teenage boys, and even teenage boys want more than that"; lifetime Assassin's Creed franchise sales climb to 76 million.

Ubisoft Toronto studio head Jade Raymond is fed up with video games that "treat gamers like idiots." In a new interview with The Grid, Raymond said games can be so much more than popular tropes.

Jade Raymond

"I don't like the assumption that all people who play games want big chainsaws and women in bikinis. It's like, really? Not all gamers are teenage boys, and even teenage boys want more than that," Raymond said.

The interviewer said that protagonists of many popular video games often are "husky voiced, emotionless asshole[s]," and Raymond seemed to agree.

"It's got to change, right?" she said, pointing out that even traditional action movies have evolved to a point where their main characters are more narratively complex.

"The video game world is improving, too: We're seeing some variety," Raymond said. "Grand Theft Auto has been doing a good job picking interesting main characters in recent years--like the new-immigrant underdog. There still isn't a game where you get to play an old lady. That's my dream."

Raymond and Ubisoft Toronto are reportedly working on Assassin's Creed Unity, which launches this year, but we don't know much about it yet. They're being assisted by Ubisoft Montreal, which is currently working on five projects.

Also in the interview, Raymond revealed that the Assassin's Creed series has now sold 76 million copies worldwide. That's up three million from Ubisoft's last officially tally of 73 million.

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

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Discussion

914 comments
therealzorvan
therealzorvan

Women are the new African American. "The man is keeping us down!!".

RKO_Viper
RKO_Viper

I don't want "chainsaws and girls in bikinis". I just want an Assassin Creed game (not handheld) to have a female protagonist. 


FFS, this "Ubisoft boss" is a female. You'd think they would've had a female as a main character already.

nights_team2k7
nights_team2k7

I'd want Jade in a bikini and weilding chainsaws

therealzorvan
therealzorvan

With them big fricken hands and adams apple, "she" just looks like another skinny male "boss" to me.

seriousgaming
seriousgaming

If you want to see her in a bikini, will she go after you with a chainsaw?

joshsmith16
joshsmith16

Jade, thanks to the character customization, you can play as an old woman in the Saints Row games. She even gets to be the president and fight off aliens in Saints Row 4. You're welcome. :)

Skarwolf
Skarwolf

Not sure if any of you were around when the original Nintendo came out.  A game like Zelda for example cost 60 bucks.  You had to do this weird combo of holding the reset button while turning it off to save your game or you lost everything.  The game itself is only a couple kilobytes big however people were playing this game for WEEKS if not months...


I've asked this many times... why is it that games with dvd technology some of which are mutiple discs can be beaten in a day or two... ?  And old nintendo games took weeks to beat and they're only a couple kilobytes... ?  Same prices...

ShadowAngel85x
ShadowAngel85x

I have yet to see a good game from Jade Raymond. She sure loves to talk a lot but doesn't produce anything worthwile. And talking about gamers only interested in bikini woman is funny, Jade should realize the only reason she has the position she has is because she a somewhat good looking nerd, the perfect advertisement for games

jaguarchocolate
jaguarchocolate

The Heck, Nolifers want bikini girls... Get Real GF & Play male charachters... you Dem Nibs God Damn.

i hate it when games are full of half naked girls without male charachters.

jaguarchocolate
jaguarchocolate

who nolifers want bikini girls, get real GF & play male charachters, you dem nibs god damn.

jmoney5555
jmoney5555

She should get fired for her opinion? That is a little harsh! Also I don't know how many people want a grandma simulator haha

gtstcactus
gtstcactus

This woman wants someone to make Grandma simulator??

valrogmm
valrogmm

She's unsuccessfully trying to use the gender card to cover for the fact that her project Splinter Cell: Blacklist was a commercial failure.

valrogmm
valrogmm

Ubi Soft should fire her ignorant ass. It looks like she's putting her ideological views ahead of her company's commercial success. You don't dictate to your customers what they should want. If they want pretty girls in bikinis, you provide pretty girls in bikinis. If you don't like it, you either resign by yourself or you get fired.

effingterrible
effingterrible

BRB, off making my new game involving an old lady going on a murderous expletive-ridden rampage whilst doing day to day things like driving, getting groceries, etc.

I wonder if Betty White is free for some pro-bono VA....

evildead6789
evildead6789

ubisoft should rot in hell with their crap games

jasspur
jasspur

Summary of what she is saying: Duke Nukem and Lollipop Chainsaw are terrible games. I can't understand why people are turned on by video games characters, or want to hear someone like Duke Nukem in game where you would want to punch him in the mouth if you met him in person. The focus should be the story. No wonder statistics say most players are unable to finish games. They buy lollipop chainsaw, slip their hand down their pants, and what... the game is now boring 5 minutes later.

RedDragonGecko
RedDragonGecko

I'd love to see a game where you play an old lady...... Really? In a bikini?


al_is_here
al_is_here

I would be so damn happy if she would have said the following

"I don't like the assumption that all people who play pc games want uplay on steam released games and unnfinished/nerffed multi platform games. It's like, really? Not all gamers are criminals or morons that you can take an advantage of, and even pc gamers want more than that," Raymond said.

im sorry miss raymond but you are by far the worst/incompetent boss in the gaming industry at the moment.The fact that you even have such an important position and the decisions made behind the ubisoft curtain is just deplorable.

priyata
priyata

she should leave the gaming industry and do smthingelse...

AceRoccola
AceRoccola

Sounds like she doesn't know teenage boys very well. I think chainsaws and bikinis fit the bill nicely. 

Also, there IS a game where you play as an old lady, and if Jade Raymond knew anything about video games (or had ever played one before) she might be aware of that.

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

"Also in the interview, Raymond revealed that the Assassin's Creed series has now sold 76 million copies worldwide."

How many Splinter Cell: Blacklist, helmed by Jade herself, did Ubisoft sold? Not even a million copies in North America. So if she knows so much about what gamers want why was it a commercial flop? Tell me she's not where she is because she knows with whom to share her bed with and looks good in the spotlight.

CallousIW
CallousIW

Can someone summarise the article for me..i gotta confess i only click on it cos of her pic

brygdom
brygdom

What about playing an old lady in a bikini wielding a chainsaw?

Scarf0
Scarf0

Well, I for one, would LOVE to play a video game with a old lady as the main character....but she must be wielding a chainsaw while sporting a skimpy bikini. That's what I want! Please don't judge.

SkyAboveThePort
SkyAboveThePort

No game where you get to play an old lady? What about Super Granny 4 (platformer), Granny in Paradise (platformer), or... Granny Strikes Back (shooter + base defence)?

nameaprice
nameaprice

I like whatever SHE tells me to like :P

therealzorvan
therealzorvan

Boss of what? Washing lunchroom dishes and bringing the real boss his coffee?

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

Gamers MAY also want a female protagonist in an AC game...I mean they freaking come out every year change it up. Oh and dat Uplay is balls....work on that boss. 

bandit7319
bandit7319

Yeah, she's pretty hot.

Anyway... I'm a 30 year old casual gamer so I'm good with chainsaws and girls in bikinis lol.  I have so many other fun things going on in my life that getting engrossed in the narrative of a video game isn't appealing to me at all. But, for the more serious gamers, I'll agree with her statement.  I think both serious, story driven, character developing games and games with girls in bikinis should exist to appeal to different markets. I'll officially be done with video games if they all become serious story driven experiences.

popusak
popusak

i didn't read the article, only saw her picture, and damn does she look amazing. We can play games together any day hahaha :)

Vienreich
Vienreich

I want to play a chainsaw. Sick n tired of games portraying stupid humans, I WANNA BE A CHAINSAW!!!   vvvrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr chop that friggin tree down !!!

mrdinghat
mrdinghat

"Ubisoft Toronto studio head Jade Raymond is fed up with video games that "treat gamers like idiots.""

Really? Well, how about first addressing companies like Ubisoft that continues to treat gamers like idiots? Denying the E3 Watch Dogs downgrades, this supposed leak about The Division on PC being downgraded so console users don't feel bad about their purchase and the fact that it's obvious FarCry 4 is limited on PC because of the console graphics being "comparable to ultra high on PC", which shouldn't be possible on a game released in 2014.

Sort out your business practices before trying to take a moral high ground on how games treat gamers like idiots.

Buckhannah
Buckhannah

@Skarwolf


We played Karate Kid on NES for hundreds of hours as well. (it has less than 30 minutes of actual content)  That's because a lot of games those days were made brutally hard to mask how short they are, and because they were intentionally incredibly vague.  Sometimes they also just had horrible translations if they came from Japan. (Simon's Quest, also sank hundreds of hours into it)

Snailgoop
Snailgoop

@valrogmm The problem is that female gamers, which are a sizable portion of Ubisoft customers, aren't being treated well. I, for one, having paid hundreds of dollars for Ubisoft games and being a female gamer, wish to have more opportunity to play female characters that are strong, independent and not overly sexualized. I would also like to see women in games represented with more depth and complexity, like their male counterparts. It's not too much to ask.

Elemental_Jack
Elemental_Jack

@jasspur Yet her company is the one that makes the assassins creed over and over again. And also said females are too hard to render. She is just a figure head with no real Pull I guess. 

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@CallousIW 

To summarize she's trying to save her job after the commercial flop that Splinter Cell: Blacklist was, helmed by her, by being in the news. Good thing us males find pretty girls with a large mouth and a tin figure.

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@Scarf0 

Don't worry they're wont be any games with old ladies as main characters because Jade herself, as any bosses, won't take any risks that might put in jeopardy her own job. Flapping one's mouth is one thing, taking chances is another. Specially after Splinter Cell Blacklist's commercial flop, her first project that she helmed herself with the results we have seen.

Jacanuk
Jacanuk

@rickphoenixxx Oh, you mean like they already did in Assassins Creed Liberation or wait let me guess your probably never played that and just love to complain.


mbloof
mbloof

@mrdinghat A title released in >=2014 the difference ought to be: Console graphic's = Very Low/Low PC graphics. (medium at best). While PC gamers like to blame the Consoles for holding PC games back the reality is that the GPU's (or lack thereof) in 95% of modern PC laptops and WIN powered tablets are as much or more to blame.


A quick look at Steams hardware survey shows what kind of PC "gamers" are using these days.

theotherjeff
theotherjeff

@Pyro978 @al_is_here To be fair to Miss Raymond, the spot of worst/ most incompetent boss in the gaming industry is a quite hotly contested position, so this might get her there for a while, but only briefly, IMHO

Snailgoop
Snailgoop

@SpicaAntares @Scarf0 Splinter Cell:Blacklist was seriously one of the most epic games I ever played. I couldn't stop playing the co-op for a long time. Dang, that was good fun. One thing I liked about that game was that the president was a woman.

Snailgoop
Snailgoop

@Jacanuk @rickphoenixxx Liberation was a redone DLC. It was awkward to play and not well done or deep. They could do a MUCH better job. It's one small step, yes, and I was happy for it, but it was obvious it was a token gesture, along with the black male lead DLC alongside it.

junoh315
junoh315

@Jacanuk @rickphoenixxx Not only that but Aveline appeared in the DLC to AC4.  How many people actually play the series, anyways?  I do admit that they probably should have picked a female assassin in the new AC(l'ange de l'assassinat) but maybe they picked a male assassin for a good reason.

theotherjeff
theotherjeff

@mbloof I understand exactly what you're saying, but the other side of the coin begs the question. How many people haven't upgraded their PC / GPU because there 3-5yr old machine still runs everything on High/Ultra? 


So my next question is, why drop upwards of $600 for a GPU when you'll get the same result for $250-$300? I have heard some fairly compelling arguments in favour of the better cards but they apply to gamers who are in or trying to get into the esport scene, as opposed to your avg gamer.


This next paragraph is me explaining reasons. Skip if you wish to.

If a game was released that actually needed one of the top 5 cards from either Nvidia or AMD in order to run in ultra settings, I believe those steam stats would change pretty fast and both gpu companies would be pretty happy with the end result. Don't get me wrong I don't think everyone will drop money for a top of the range card, but I believe a lot would at jump up 2 or 3 cards. Using one of my machines as an example. Built it towards the end of 2009 and gave it a decent GPU, (Currently it's on the about the 10th lvl from the top of the hierarchy chart found here) and without overclocking anything it'll run any game I have on ultra, Metro LL is a bit choppy unless I turn off some of the dx11 features, but still playable if I leave everything on. 


SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@Snailgoop 

A game can be a commercial flop and be fun to play with. I remember the last Army of Two, the best in the series, being a game I played from start to finish with my girlfriend maybe 10 times. Still it was a commercial flop, maybe in part by the bad press it got from the reviewers who hoped for something new or something different. But in terms of gameplay and level design this game was great and really fun to play with.