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Ubisoft Is Excluding Women From The New "Assassin's Creed" And People Are Furious

One of games' biggest series faces a representation crisis.

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The newest game in the multimillion-dollar Assassin's Creed series, Unity, has some fascinating features: A painstakingly-recreated revolutionary Paris, bleeding-edge next-gen presentation, and for the first time in the series, four-user cooperative play.

One thing it does not have is the option to play as a woman.

Despite Ubisoft's oft-cited commitment to diversity—something they conspicuously tout in writing at the beginning of every Assassin's Creed game—the company axed the inclusion of playable female characters in their new game because of resource constraints, according to Ubisoft technical director James Therien in an interview with Videogamer.com:

"It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it's a question of focus and production," Therien explained. "So we wanted to make sure we had the best experience for the character. A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes [inaudible]. It would have doubled the work on those things. And I mean it's something the team really wanted, but we had to make a decision... It's unfortunate, but it's a reality of game development."

This "reality of game development" has been seized on by hundreds of angry gamers, game developers, and thinking human beings on Twitter, who are currently excoriating Ubisoft—the third largest games publisher in the world with nearly 10,000 employees—for the lack of female representation in what is perhaps their biggest series.

My thoughts are these: @Ubisoft doesn't have the time or money to put women in #ACUnity, I don't have the time or money to play #ACUnity.

Sam Maggs@SamMaggs

My thoughts are these: @Ubisoft doesn't have the time or money to put women in #ACUnity, I don't have the time or money to play #ACUnity.

1:05 PM - 11 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Women are hard to put in games because our chitinous exoskeletons refract light in ways that render us invisible to the naked eye. #ubisoft

Rachel Edidin@RaeBeta

Women are hard to put in games because our chitinous exoskeletons refract light in ways that render us invisible to the naked eye. #ubisoft

3:38 AM - 11 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

.@Ubisoft, if you find it hard to come up with awesome women from history for Assassins Creed games then I'd be happy to email you a list

Shannon R@Hokuboku

.@Ubisoft, if you find it hard to come up with awesome women from history for Assassins Creed games then I'd be happy to email you a list

11:02 AM - 11 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"We flew to Paris to model every single stone in the Notre Dame cathedral, but designing women is too much effort." -Ubisoft, probably.

Christopher S.@CGSaw

"We flew to Paris to model every single stone in the Notre Dame cathedral, but designing women is too much effort." -Ubisoft, probably.

9:40 PM - 10 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"Female bone structure is just different," says Joe Ubisoft. "Are there spiders in there? We just don't know."

creeping horror@redfivetwo

"Female bone structure is just different," says Joe Ubisoft. "Are there spiders in there? We just don't know."

9:43 PM - 10 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Ubisoft, adding female characters is mostly expensive if it isn't in your original design & you blasted all your resources on male stuff 1st

Rami Ismail@tha_rami

Ubisoft, adding female characters is mostly expensive if it isn't in your original design & you blasted all your resources on male stuff 1st

10:34 PM - 10 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

In the Assassin's Creed games, Ubisoft is committed to making believable alternate histories for gamers to explore. It sounds like a lot of people don't want anything to do with this one.

Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.

Contact Joseph Bernstein at joe.bernstein@buzzfeed.com.

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