The announcement of the Retro Video Game System, a cartridge-based console, is the latest case study in the debate of whether gaming should continue evolving beyond its roots.
Possible Female As Assassin’s Creed Lead
All mainline Assassin’s Creed titles have had a male character as the protagonist, but that could change in the near future. “It’s a bit of a tough question,” Black Flag game director Ashraf Ismail told IGN. According to Ismail, Ubisoft had planned to do a story arc involving the Kenway family for a while now. “This was actually years ago, we had this,” Ismail said, adding “we actually never thought, ‘could this be a woman?'”
Ismail went on to say that although there were a handful famous female pirates, it was too uncommon to make a go of it. “So we didn’t want that element to be a detail people got stuck on,” he said. Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation did see a female lead, but it was a spin off. In would be interesting to see how they would pull a female lead off, but for Black Flag, Ubisoft’s mind was already made up. “I would say it wouldn’t be surprising to see a female assassin coming up in a mainline Assassin’s Creed,” Ismail said. “But for us, for AC4, it was always Edward.”
Back February, Epic Games director Chris Perna said that female protagonists could negatively affect sales of the series. “If you look at what sells, it’s tough to justify something like that.” IGN also asked Ismail if keeping a male protagonist was a branding decision for the series, but he said the idea of a female assassin is not off the table. “I actually don’t know what the brand team is working on for the next few games,” he said. “But the concept of a female assassin, I can tell you it’s not a no-no, it’s not something we’re trying to avoid at all.
IGN sure did ask a tough question and the unfortunate thing is that we got a tough answer in return. Ismail did not rule out a female protagonist in the future, but does that really mean they are going to do it? Liberation might have been a test for Ubisoft to see if it could be done and if it had an affect on sales. Liberation did have mediocre sales, but I blame that more on the PS Vita than the game itself. I wish someone would do women justice in games for once. It seems that when a woman is the star of a game they are usually created for eye candy rather than for depth or development. On the other hand, when they are made really well, such as Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, the game seems to lose revenue. In my opinion, female characters have been wronged for too long in this industry and I hope it starts to change very soon.
Original interview courtesy of IGN