By Nicholas Whitt |Staff Writer|
Gender equality is a necessity in today’s society, and all forms of entertainment should follow this—especially video games.
Recently, video game companies joined the movement for fair gender representation, but have they truly?
Female lead characters in video games have become a trend lately with the release of “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate,” the sequel “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” and now the introduction to Linkle — Link’s (from “The Legend of Zelda franchise) female counterpart.
video game companies doing this for profit or because they genuinely want a female presence in their product?
Wait, sounds like that might be the money train coming through!
Last year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), an annual trade fair for the video game industry, Ubisoft received a lot of hate after revealing “Assassin Creed Unity,” for a “lack of female characters,” according to Rooster Teeth news channel host Meg Turney.
There are 1.78 billion gamers worldwide as of August 2014, according to Newzoo and GlobalCollect.
Fifty-two percent of the gaming audience is made up of women, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau.
They are appealing to a majority of females, so why not give them a female leading role?
Seven “Assassin’s Creed” games and not one playable female protagonist in any of them—it’s not like it would have hindered the story at all—even though the whole story is fictional.
In the past, video games gave excellent lead roles to females that in reality, could have been assigned to a male like: intergalactic bounty hunter Samus from “Metroid,” silent protagonist Chell from “Portal,” undercover agent Joanna Dark from “Perfect Dark Zero,” and human rights organizer Claire Redfield from “Resident Evil 2.”
There shouldn’t be excuses for video game producers to only appeal to a male audience.
Ubisoft’s reason for not adding a playable female character is due to supposedly having a complex work load.
“A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation,” according to Ubisoft technical director James Therien.
A female assassin would’ve necessitated more than 8,000 new animations recreated on a new skeletal structure, according to Ubisoft’s Design Director Bruno St. Andre.
Hear that, everyone? Ubisoft said they’re too lazy to add a female character, so instead they trashed the idea.
The funny thing is, it wouldn’t have taken longer than a couple of days to complete this work.
“In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two’s work. Not a replacement of 8000 animations,” according to the animation director of “Assassin’s Creed 3” Jonathan Cooper.
Ubisoft’s reaction to the amount of hate received from Unity made them respond with Syndicate, the latest “Assassin’s Creed” title, having a playable female lead.
“Versus Unity, Syndicate was down in the first week but nicely outperformed it in its second week as it benefited from positive word of mouth,” stated Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot.
Surprisingly though, Syndicate introduced two main playable characters: a female and a male.
So instead of adhering to gamers’ demands, they gave them the middle finger and indirectly said females cannot be assassins by themselves.
In previous games, there was only one main character and an additional side characters for assistance.
The idea that females have to be assisted by a male to accomplish anything is ridiculous; who the hell do these guys think they are?
Another company that is following this money-hungry idea is Nintendo, introducing Linkle.
Linkle is the reimagining of Link as a female but with crossbows, not swords.
“It’s like they didn’t even try, as if “they did a line of cocaine” and instantly thought ‘Linkle,'” said Turney.
Video game companies need to realize one of two things: Either (A) get it together or (B) start really caring for the video game audience.