Ubisoft CEO Says Company Will Work to Extend Diversity

roseofbattle

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Apr 18, 2011
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Ubisoft CEO Says Company Will Work to Extend Diversity

Ubisoft's latest and upcoming games have included "bland" characters, and its inclusion of only male characters in the multiplayer of Assassin's Creed: Unity faces much criticism.

Ubisoft Yves Guillemot said the company will work to improve its diversity of characters in Ubisoft games. Guillemot's comments largely concern the criticisms of Watch Dogs' protagonist Aiden Pearce, but the company has faced a lot of criticism in the past week for its comments on excluding female characters.

Last week when the multiplayer options for Assassin's Creed: Unity were revealed to be four extremely similar variations of a white, male assassin, critics asked why Ubisoft had decided to omit female character options from multiplayer. Ubisoft creative leads said they had excluded making female characters playable because it would take too many resources to do so.

"We want to work on that," Guillemot said on diversity. "We want to spend more time on the worlds and characters in our games... you will see more and more of this at Ubisoft. We'll try to be less like we have been in the past with some characters. We'll try to extend more diversity."

Ubisoft's most recent game released is Watch Dogs, which features a 39-year-old white man motivated by the death of his niece. Beyond the lack of playable female characters, "fridging." [http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/05/in-watch-dogs-women-are-victims-and-plot-points.html]

"We knew it would be polarizing," Guillemot said in regard to Watch Dogs. "Some people loved the characters and some didn't. It was difficult to please everybody with that character. Now, having seen the reaction, we know what we will do next to improve that."

Source: CVG [http://www.computerandvideogames.com/468708/ubisoft-working-to-diversify-its-characters-says-guillemot/?cid=OTC-RSS&attr=CVG-News-RSS]


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SonOfVoorhees

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Aug 3, 2011
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They have now dug their own grave writing this, so if Ubisoft doesnt release new games with female characters then this will come back to haunt them.
 

spartandude

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Nov 24, 2009
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If they are taking this serious then good on them, however i do fear that we may get another spin off, like Liberation, abd then claim that's good enough.
I do however think the French Revolution is probably an ideal setting for a female assassin,
 

Frezzato

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Oct 17, 2012
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Gah, that's a lot of work though. They're gonna have to do so much work setting up new characters and establishing new franchises.

Or not. [http://www.bagogames.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/beyondgoodandevil2rayman.jpg]
 

putowtin

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Jul 7, 2010
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roseofbattle said:
ry to be less like we have been in the past with some characters. We'll try to extend more diversity."

Ubisoft's most recent game released is Watch Dogs, which features a 39-year-old white man motivated by the death of his niece. Beyond the lack of playable female characters, "fridging." [http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/05/in-watch-dogs-women-are-victims-and-plot-points.html]
Well his niece is already dead and one other female character dies (unless your counting all those you accidentally shoot or run over)?

It's good to hear that the internet masses are being heard over at Ubi headquaters, if anything actually happens.... well we'll see
 

Casual Shinji

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Ah, the non-specific assurance of change... The get-out-of-jail-free card for any developer.
 

Phasmal

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Jun 10, 2011
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On the one hand this could just be `We just want everyone to shut up about this`, but on the other hand they could actually do something new with this.

Obviously people are making enough noise to get noticed about these things now.

Either way, I guess I'll wait and see how it turns out.
 

Brian Sperduto

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The Plunk said:
More diversity doesn't automatically create less bland characters. Better writing would be nice regardless of the skin colour or gender of protagonists.

Oh, hi Mrs Sarkeesian, didn't know you were working for the Escapist now. Of course there were no men killed in Watch Dogs as part of the storyline, the patriarchy council wouldn't allow it.
You are aware Anita Sarkeesian did not invent the concept of tropes, right? "Fridging" in particular comes from a 1994 comic where Green Lantern comes home to find his girlfriend murdered and stuffed in a refrigerator ( http://www.lby3.com/wir/ ), one of many examples of how women in comics were often used as motivations for male protagonists rather than as legit characters in their own right. Regardless of what one thinks of her, Anita Sarkeesian has just worked to bring many of the tropes involving women into focus.

Better diversity "could" result in less reliance on tropes in general, which is a positive step for game writing, since overuse of tropes is weak writing regardless.
 

Andy Shandy

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Jun 7, 2010
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Well I certainly won't complain if you start "extending diversity" with Beyond Good and Evil 2, Ubi *hint hint*.
 

dragongit

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Wouldn't a lot of their troubles and worries be resolved if they ... oh I dunno... released Beyond Good and Evil 2? I could have sworn that game had a fairly competent female protagonist. It's an IP they own, have established... hell, remake the first one in true current gen capabilities, then promote it's sequel. Bodda bing Badda Boom, everyone can be happy.
 

Erttheking

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The Plunk said:
Oh, hi Mrs Sarkeesian, didn't know you were working for the Escapist now. Of course there were no men killed in Watch Dogs as part of the storyline, the patriarchy council wouldn't allow it.
So what? Are you not allowed to criticize how female characters are killed off simply to give male characters a cheap motivation without being a feminazi now? Also, she didn't invent that phrase, it's been around for awhile.

OT: I like what they're saying, but I'm hesitant to trust them. I'll start complimenting them when I see results.
 

Kmadden2004

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As long as it's done from a perspective of "let's try to tell interesting stories from the point of view of characters outside our comfort zone" and not just straight up tokenism for the sake of some good PR, then I don't really see anything to complain about if it's done well.

Oh, and Beyond Good & Evil 2 would be a good start.
 

90sgamer

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Ubisoft has been much more diverse than most publishers. But, people are mad because ubisoft has not been diverse in this one specific way. You people are entitled.
 

CriticalMiss

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We'll try to extend more diversity.
They'll try, then after the one person they have working part-time on creating new, interesting female characters fails to come up with a game that sells 10 million units they will deem it a failure and go back to Some White Dude searching for/avenging his kidnapped/murdered wife/daughter/female relative/babysitter (delete as appropriate) :p

As others mentioned, Beyond Good and Evil 2 would be a good start if they actually give a shit. They wouldn't even need to do all of the hardwork of creating a new main character or world. I think that if they are going to succeed with this they need to be sincere about wanting women in their games, shoehorning in a poorly written woman will stick out like a sore thumb and just make things worse. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
 

Tolkienfanatic

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Aside from a small number of Sarkeesian-bots shrieking about this at the top of their interweb-lungs, does anyone actually care?
 

Me55enger

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Wow, suddenly we have to list age and ethnicity as well as gender? One poorly led bandwagon at a time, critics.

I think the next problem these movements will find is trying to find the balance between lynching writers and game developers for sex/race/age-ism and actually letting them tell a story.

Of course first we have to deal with the current problem, hopefully with less shoe-horned passive-aggressive warmongering than this post.