This is another addition to the long line of game developers that have to apologize for people not liking their design of a game. In today’s case, Ubisoft issued an apology regarding an Assassin’s Creed Odyssey DLC ending. An ending that (apparently?) pissed off a lot of people. This isn’t like the Capcom apology regarding Resident Evil 2, however, which was over a gameplay design element. This was in fact, over the topic of political correctness.
Reading through player responses of our new DLC for Legacy of the First Blade, Shadow Heritage, we want to extend an apology to players disappointed by a relationship your character partakes in. The intention of this story was to explain how your character’s bloodline has a lasting impact on the Assassins, but looking through your responses it is clear that we missed the mark.
So what was the issue itself? Well, let me enlighten you, though fair warning. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
Now the way the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey DLC’s story worked was that it acted as a setup to the other protagonists of the series. While Odyssey is the latest release, chronologically, it dates before the events of all the other games. The series kinda went in reverse so to speak.
The protagonist, Kassandra or Alexios basically has to have an offspring by the end of the DLC. To continue the Assassin bloodline, so whether the player wants to or not, they do have a child with a major character in the DLC. A character whose gender is always opposite to the gender of the protagonist.
Ubisoft’s apology is basically directed at the fact that they emphasized Odyssey as a role-playing game. Meaning players were allowed to choose how their character behaved, how they fought, and even their sexuality. This was forced aside for the protagonist to have their offspring.
In their defense, you do have the choice to have the offspring out of necessity rather than actual love. But it can still be a bit immersion breaking understandably. But not enough for Ubisoft to issue an apology
The thing is, this didn’t quite become news UNTIL after Ubisoft released the apology for it. Which is sort of fishy, almost as if they planned for the backlash and released an apology asap.
Another thing to note (and this comes to anything political correctness related) is that the core gaming audience, at least the majority, simply doesn’t care. The ones that purchase and play Odyssey out of love for the franchise are NOT outraged or even offended at Ubisoft’s design decisions. After all, it is their game.
Yes, Ubisoft did slightly eff it up by selling off the game as completely up to the player’s choice. After which they sort of robbed that choice from them for the sake of the story. Their own story, however.
When it comes to political correctness in video games, the topic is usually very controversial. Since you’ve got one side of the spectrum that wants gaming as a getaway, not a method to push agenda. While the other side wants video games to be used as a method of representation. Thing is only one of these sides actually PLAYS video games.
In no way do I condemn speaking out against injustice in the gaming industry. The issue of sexism in the Riot games workplace was a legitimate issue that needed attention. Since there were actual people being affected by it. But come on, throwing a hissy fit over the sexuality of a video game that offers SO MUCH MORE than who the protagonist wants to sleep with? Gimmie a break.
It’s already a bad idea to try self-inserting into an established character like Odyssey’s protagonist. Keep that level of immersion to Skyrim or Fallout. Enjoy the story when it comes to these games.