In discussing their upcoming sure to be multi-million dollar making game, Assassins Creed Unity, Ubisoft technical director James Therien said adding women would have "doubled the work".
"It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it's a question of focus and production," Therien explained. "So we wanted to make sure we had the best experience for the character. A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes [inaudible]. It would have doubled the work on those things. And I mean it's something the team really wanted, but we had to make a decision... It's unfortunate, but it's a reality of game development."
When asked further by VideoGamer about whether fans would accept this he explained,
"Again, it's not a question of philosophy or choice in this case at all I don't really [inaudible] it was a question of focus and a question of production. Yes, we have tonnes of resources, but we're putting them into this game, and we have huge teams, nine studios working on this game and we need all of these people to make what we are doing here."
Nine studios working on the game and one of them couldn't change a guy to be a woman? Are there not women NPCs already in the game they made which can serve as a basis? I am not a game developer so not an expert on this.
Some may say "Psha, women weren't allowed to do anything back then anyways so they couldn't be assassins." which is a ridiculous argument I just said because A) the game follows a secret assassin's guild which is historically inaccurate anyways and B) One of the most famous assassins of the French revolution was a woman. So it seems like it would make more sense to include a woman then to not.
Women make up 45% of gamers and are 46% of the most frequent game buyers. You would think with that large of buying power, the gaming industry would take advantage of that and cater to women more with greater representation as playable characters. Instead women are often relegated to more of an afterthought. A recent study of 669 games, 45% had an option to play a female character and only 4% had a female protagonist. While games with female protagonists had lower scores, they also only received 40% of the marketing budget of male led games.
The argument that adding women is to difficult isn't a new one. Male as the default is common in a lot of games. But with the huge amount of women gamers out there, as large of franchise as Assassin's Creed, and as big of company as Ubisoft this excuse sounds to me more like them saying that women don't matter to them.