No, Ubisoft didn't just claim they invented women in games | PCGamesN

No, Ubisoft didn't just claim they invented women in games

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate Evie

Today's Twitter controversy: a press release of questionable origin has surfaced, ostensibly from Ubisoft, claiming that Assassin's Creed Syndicate's Evie Frye is "one of the first female leading roles for any videogame." But before we all drop everything to assemble a social media mob and exact our revenge for such a ludicrously inaccurate claim, know this: it's B.S.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate makes the cut in our best PC games of 2015.

Here's the original tweet, from Twitter user @Toadsanime:

Now, that's obviously a ridiculous claim. Evie Frye isn't even one of the first female lead protagonists this year, let alone in videogame history. Even within the Assassin's Creed franchise there's Aveline from ACIII: Liberation. Wrong statement is wrong.

However, if you're in the habit of receiving Ubisoft press releases, the lack of excited capitalised intro text in that uncited, conveniently cropped, presser, immediately rings alarm bells. Likewise the pronounced focus on Victoria Atkins herself rather than the game, suggests this isn't of Ubi origin.

Having initially claimed the presser came from Ubisoft, @Toadsanime eventually conceded that it may have come from a third-party PR Agency.

We reached out to Ubisoft for clarification on the situation. Shortly after, confirmation came from Ubisoft creative director Palle Hoffstein that the statement was in fact nothing to do with the publisher, but instead came from Atkins' representation:

Now, what have we all learned, everyone? That's right: it isn't always Ubisoft's fault, and Victoria Atkins needs new representation. 

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Shriven avatar1N07 avatarFlappers avatarAnAuldWolf avatar
Shriven Avatar
2 Years ago

Says a lot about the public perception of Ubisoft that even this BS gets traction.

1N07 Avatar
2 Years ago

So what you're saying gave it away is that this bullshit looks too clean to be Ubisoft's bullshit? :D

Flappers Avatar
2 Years ago

Funny, as it's the same people that said animating women was more difficult than animating men in video games...

This company is just hilarious... even though they are saying it's not them - they still are obliged to read through and approve such statements right?

Shriven Avatar
2 Years ago

Wrong, really. PR companies just do their own thing in what they think is in the best interests of the client. This one was a miss and prolly written by someone who doesnt know anything about gaming. If the person that wrote it was a gamer, they'd know.

AnAuldWolf Avatar
2 Years ago

Poor Jade. This sort of thing never happened in her day. It was just a thing that strong women, not objectified, existed. They weren't all Lara Croft.

I'm not saying anything about this article in specific, mind you. I'm just musing over that this even happened. That it had to be said by anyone. I don't quite know how to put into words how I feel about all this, it's difficult.

In the '90s and early '00s we had persons of colour and women all over the place, who weren't caricatures or stereotypes. We even had chubby and nerdy ladies and persons of colour in our video games. It just wasn't a thing. I think that the people working on games back then knew how to treat people with respect.

Today's video games have become more like comic books.

What do I mean by that? Well, look at Marvel and DC. Wally West is now a black kid in DC. I would normally be over the moon about this. Except... Wally is a twelve year old hoodlum with a nasty attitude, he isn't particularly bright and he idolises his criminal father. He needs the pure, guiding hand of a white man (Barry Allen) to find his way into the light.

Then there's Marvel. The new Captain America? Yet another Samuel L. Jackson caricature. The new Thor? A lady who couldn't resist making kissy faces with bloke Thor (because women are always sexual in all things), and doesn't deserve a backstory. The new Thor could have been Sif. Sif has an established history and she's a respectable lady. She's been in some of Marvel's best arcs (Beta Ray Bill, that Asgard crossover, et al), so why not?

It's all a big publicity stunt rather than actually respecting people. I miss about ten years ago, the height of social progressiveness, when you could actually do something really cool, progressive, and empowering and not make it an overly political media event.

Jade was that.