2011 saw the release of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and the introduction of the multiplayer aspect of this franchise. With this multiplayer aspect came the opportunity to play as a female Assassin.
At the Eurogamer Expo in 2010, this multiplayer mode was demonstrated, which I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. This was also my first experience of sexism in this industry. I queued up, excitedly. Sat down to play, excitedly. I held the controller and started taking a look through the menu options. Whilst I was browsing the menu options, the male attendant of the booth forcefully grabbed the controller out of my hand, chose the (only) female Assassin option on my behalf and started the game. I was the only female at the booth at the time.
2012 then saw the release of Assassin’s Creed: Liberation where we got to play as a black female Assassin. This was excellent! Finally a non-white, non-male character to play as. Inclusion and diversity were finally here in this franchise!
Polygon have reported that the game director, Alex Amancio, has stated there will be no female character options for the co-op aspect of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, because they chose “fully customisable” characters over playable female ones. You cannot have fully customisable characters if you can’t customise the character’s gender.
I, personally, feel disgusted and genuinely upset at this lack of playable female characters. Although I have no issues with playing a white, male Assassin, again, the excuses given by Amancio make me want to see a female-only Assassin’s Creed game on major consoles, not just the Vita.
I hold this franchise close to my heart, and this feels like a betrayal.