Jimquisition: Diversity? LIEversity!

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Diversity? LIEversity!

Alternate title could have easily been, "The continued owning of Ubisoft by the righteous James Sterling and anybody with a bloody working brain in their head."

Watch Video

another informative and funny video Jim, keep up the good work

After seeing the E3 news and the newest Ubisoft controversy I totally called this week's topic! =D

EDIT: Comment withdrawn due to ignorance.

Well, in the case of AC: Unity, do the extra protagonists actually have any impact on the story?

Last i checked, they were not even named.

Also, still not going to stop me from buying Far Cry 4 (pending its PC Certification of Not Shit)

canadamus_prime:
When it comes to Assassin's Creed Unity they could've just said that a female protagonist wouldn't have fit with the setting and time period. Sure they could've still made a female protagonist work with that setting and time period, but it would've been a much more valid excuse than saying it's too expensive.

Considering the most famous assassin of the era was a woman that bullshit is so far gone I don't know where to start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Corday

It wouldn't take much work to get a female model in that game surely. We've been able to play as a female in AssCreed since Brotherhood when the multiplayer was introduced up until AssCreed 4. Just take one of those women, decorate them in shiny current gen graphics and hire the voice actress. Unless hiring the voice actress alone would be far too expensive. Ah well.

Still feeling ill, Jim? Sounds like it in the intro and outro.

This guy hits the bull's eye on what's wrong with Ubisoft's current stream of games.

http://games.on.net/2014/06/ubisoft-game-the-review/

I don't know how mods feel about reposting something you said on another thread, but I am going to do it here because I think it adds to the big discussion that I know is about to start.

"I am really conflicted by this whole issue. On one hand I can understand why women feel unrepresented in video games on the other hand I feel like at this point Ubisoft just can't win. When it comes to characters in video games, books and movies, I don't look for great female characters I look for great human characters. The problem I have with the whole we want more female characters movement is I just feel like they are so picky. Seriously, if a female character is not exactly what they think a great female character should be, even if they show characteristics of being human, they consider it sexist, misogynist and the best part they will consider it a personal attack on their entire gender. You can't win with these people, we are talking about the kinda people that said Lara Croft going to therapy makes her look weak, the kinda people that say Female Shepard is just too similar to Male Shepard and if any character shows any sort of cleavage, looks weak or is influenced by men of any sort despite any context given, it is thrown in the bad female character pile. If I was a writer of any kind, making a female character would scare the hell out of me because I feel like making one is like getting zero on a roulette wheel. The zero is a female character people want and all the others are condemned.

At this point, if Ubisoft put in a female character it would be half assed and the people that were crying for would then end up unsatisfied and would start complaining all over again and would say well it was better off without the female characters.

well I am looking forward to getting all the replys on what a horrible person I am, but I believe there is a lot of truth of what I said. I want more diversity in games too, but not in the same way most people are, at least what I seen on twitter anyway. I am also not saying that developers shouldn't put female characters in games nor do I think what i said was the only reason female characters are not put in games because I know there many reasons/excuses."

I will also add that yes what Ubisoft said was incredibly stupid and it was a bad excuse or they had another one, but decided that one was better than the one they had. Also I am not saying that Ubisoft or anybody shouldn't try to make female characters, more like people should being picky and over analyzing the characters that exists. The only way female characters are ever going to be more of a thing is that the attitudes of female characters needs to be changed by both developers and gamers.

Edit: also one thing I forgot to add, going around to every developer and asking for female characters and then going on a rage fest on twitter because of the answer given isn't going to make much progress, or at the very least it does more harm than good.

Evonisia:

Still feeling ill, Jim? Sounds like it in the intro and outro.

Yeah, bit of a relapse. I did the middle bit feeling great, then a few days later I had to do the intro/outro, and started losing my voice and stuff.

Gonna be going back to the doc this week to find out what happened. Got a sneaking suspicion whatever demonism I picked up on holiday turned into an infection.

I disagree with one point. Those that say, "Dur... Social justice warrior" as if it were an insult is an idiot.

I think we could use more female protagonists, but I also think games could have more female enemies. 99% of grunts in most videogames are guys.

That was such a bullshit excuse. Animating women?! I'm as rabid a Mass Effect fan as can exist, so I call such hard bullshit on that!
But writing a good female character? I wouldn't accept that as an excuse, but I can see it being a problem. Video Games have two types of females; prostitutes/sluts/over-sexualized or princesses in need of rescue. Writing a strong female character who goes through a believable journey that's threatening and yet noble would be hard to do AND remain PC for the super hyper sensitive crowds. Having a cut-scene where the female protagonist is brutalized or tortured, as so many male protagonists are, would set off a lot of alarms and cause a hell of a controversy from the exact same people demanding a female protagonist. Just look at Laura Croft; having her be the stalwart heroine of the game wasn't good enough. She had to be God, unblemished and unbreakable because having her seem vulnerable or human was considered a slur against all women.

If Ubisoft said that, I wouldn't accept it as an excuse but it would be evidence of actually understanding the complexities of the gaming world and show an understanding of the gaming audience as a whole. And then I would expect them to hire a team of good writers and make it work.

Not this. Not this lazy 'women are scary to animate' bull.

I think this is the problem of cutting as many corners as one can get away with all the while relying on men as the default. Because of this, male characters will get left in while female characters, a secondary option that can't be included because their priorities aren't as high as the default, will get cut and left on the cutting room floor.

Let's ask the question: is having female protagonists bad for sales?

Skull Bearer:

canadamus_prime:
When it comes to Assassin's Creed Unity they could've just said that a female protagonist wouldn't have fit with the setting and time period. Sure they could've still made a female protagonist work with that setting and time period, but it would've been a much more valid excuse than saying it's too expensive.

Considering the most famous assassin of the era was a woman that bullshit is so far gone I don't know where to start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Corday

Well I didn't say it was a valid excuse, I just said it was more valid than saying it was too expensive.

canadamus_prime:
When it comes to Assassin's Creed Unity they could've just said that a female protagonist wouldn't have fit with the setting and time period. Sure they could've still made a female protagonist work with that setting and time period, but it would've been a much more valid excuse than saying it's too expensive.

and this is the same game where mayans built a holographic projector using a crystal cube that somehow holds blood plus a matching skull.. The same game where a pirate could afford to plate his entire ship in iron long before it became the norm and long before a shipwright would have been able to do it. Yet every harbormaster has an army of expert blacksmiths on hand.

The same game where the very same pirate melted down gold to make his cannons, his guns, and his mortar. On an incredibly tiny ship that can hold shit loads of cargo and have loads of crew members.

AC threw history out the window a long time ago. They can't hide there either. History nerds would be going through every instance of anachronism to the point AC would be more controversy than game.

OT: I was expecting a on-disc DLC episode thanks to that cropping up again with smaller developers now. With Tropico 5 having 12 on disc DLCs, being the most heinous example. Most of which are 90% done. Then the dev treated gamers like idiots when the files were all there.

But I guess Tropico 5 is too niche to matter, and wouldn't warrant the effort to talk about its ethical side and its legality or lack thereof.

Ah well, hope its the topic next week. Might do some good.

C.S.Strowbridge:
I disagree with one point. Those that say, "Dur... Social justice warrior" as if it were an insult is an idiot.

I was trying to be a bit more diplomatic this time. :)

Ubisoft: Women are HARD you guys.

Meanwhile at Nintendo... a tactical shooter starring squid girls.

Hey Ubisoft, you mean like this female character who's animations and customization options you had to make? You must have blown the budget on this one....

I completely agree with Jim here, if you just don't want to make a female protagonist then fine, but don't give us these horrendously bullshit excuses as to why.

gigastar:
Well, in the case of AC: Unity, do the extra protagonists actually have any impact on the story?

Last i checked, they were not even named.

They are named, but they are all the same person. Basically Ubisoft felt that it would be more fun if -- instead of everyone playing their own white dude -- everyone played the exact same white dude with different colored cloaks.

Ultratwinkie:

canadamus_prime:
When it comes to Assassin's Creed Unity they could've just said that a female protagonist wouldn't have fit with the setting and time period. Sure they could've still made a female protagonist work with that setting and time period, but it would've been a much more valid excuse than saying it's too expensive.

and this is the same game where mayans built a holographic projector using a crystal cube that somehow holds blood plus a matching skull.. The same game where a pirate could afford to plate his entire ship in iron long before it became the norm and long before a shipwright would have been able to do it. Yet every harbormaster has an army of expert blacksmiths on hand.

The same game where the very same pirate melted down gold to make his cannons, his guns, and his mortar. On an incredibly tiny ship that can hold shit loads of cargo and have loads of crew members.

AC threw history out the window a long time ago. They can't hide there either. History nerds would be going through every instance of anachronism to the point AC would be more controversy than game.

As I said to Skull Bearer, it wouldn't have been a perfect excuse, just more believable than saying that a female protagonist is "too expensive."

Tripwire pulled the same excuse in Killing Floor. While the VO excuse is slightly more believable (finding someone to do bizarre cockney), they were called out on the modeling.

They started making a playable female squaddie after they were shown up by a custom model that used male animations. They released it as DLC. IT RAINED MONEY UPON THEM.

I know AAA devs really hate looking at AA devs and what they do, because it burns them that they once made games because they had a passion for it, but damn, there's the evidence.

I hope you feel better soon, Jim :3

I for one love the prospect of playing as a woman in games, I can't wait to use Zelda and Impa in Hyrule Warriors, and the rumour that the new Link in Zelda WiiU might be a woman got me chomping at the bit (although that was later debunked I think.)

Animating and finding VAs for female characters is too much work?

Oh, so that's why Beyond Good & Evil still doesn't have a sequel! It all makes sense now!

Pfft, if it was really a money issue, having more women voice actors would probably save these companies a ton.

I bet you Jennifer Hale got paid less than Mark Meer for voicing Commander Shepard.

But that's besides the point. From my understanding, Aveline de Grandpre from Liberation shares the same animations with Conner from Assassins Creed 3. Also, considering the American Revolution is about a decade away from the French Revolution, considering Aveline is French and probably has more family and friends in France, and is an assassin, there is absolutely no excuse good enough to not have included Aveline as a playable character for Unity.

Yea Ubi, get on it! I want a shapely female bum to stare at when climbing buildings in my next Asscreed!

Jimothy Sterling:

C.S.Strowbridge:
I disagree with one point. Those that say, "Dur... Social justice warrior" as if it were an insult is an idiot.

I was trying to be a bit more diplomatic this time. :)

I'm older than you are. I don't have time for diplomacy anymore.

canadamus_prime:
When it comes to Assassin's Creed Unity they could've just said that a female protagonist wouldn't have fit with the setting and time period. Sure they could've still made a female protagonist work with that setting and time period, but it would've been a much more valid excuse than saying it's too expensive.

Someone already pulled out Charlotte Corday as a reply, but I rather point out Assassin's Creed own canon, which has a woman serving as captain of the templars in the late 12th century, or Ezio happily recruiting female pupils in Brotherhood and Revelations.

You know. Ubisoft could have avoided all this if they had tro stones to just say..'Because we wanted to make a game with 4-dudes' as the answer to why they didn't have female PC's. That's perfectly acceptable. So would, 'Because we didn't want to make a game witha female PC'. These are perfectly acceptable answers I mean if I got to a dinner and the house special isn't something I want I don't have to order it or eat there but I have no scorn for them not making something Ilike. After all, it's their right.

To the same effect , I feel a dev should make the game they want to make/play rather than the gamemeant to appealk to one target group. Meaniong, there's nothing wrong with not have a female PC. In the same way there's nothing wrong with a game not having a male pc.. To the gamer... it really doesn't matter for the most part who the avatar is as long as the game itself is fun, engaging and enjoyable.

The thing is. I don't care if Ubisoft makes AC with or without. I mean as they say in business studies. Any niche your competition doesn't fill... is a gift. All Ubisoft has done is created a void for an AC type game with a female lead, that some other studio or dev can fill. So yeah the market will pretty much decide Jim. But it's not dramatic like american idol, it's just a matter. People will buy what they want... if someone is selling what they want they will buy it.

Interesting that absolutely no developing house has come out and walked customers through the process of creating anything.

I'm not going to defend them. What they did, what they said, how they've addressed everything has been poor. At best. For a company I was beginning to respect, they clearly have no hold on their audience.

That said, working in games I understand the process that may have lead to it, even if I don't agree with it. When we make anything, any part of a game, many people touch it. Many people are needed to approve it. Finally, it lands in the hands of testers or consumer groups who rate it. At each step, there is a potential chopping block.

I don't know what lead them to cut female characters from a multiplayer game, but it's a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. From where I stand, these companies are putting their eggs into one basket, which is aptly called "Consumer Insights" -- commonly known as consumer testing. When you have a vocal minority, generally your core fans of a game, asking for a feature and it is ignored...this is what happens.

It's also strike two, after the farcry 4 box art issue. Media is paying attention, fans are paying attention, act smart.

ug.... just ug....

Games are art, they can make whatever art they want, i wish they did not make the lame excuse at all. Honestly, they do not owe anyone an excuse.

canadamus_prime:
When it comes to Assassin's Creed Unity they could've just said that a female protagonist wouldn't have fit with the setting and time period. Sure they could've still made a female protagonist work with that setting and time period, but it would've been a much more valid excuse than saying it's too expensive.

It might've actually been worse because, according to history buffs, women actually did have a very active and apparently impactful role during the French Revolution. So actually when you come across that kind of info its even more insulting that they don't have a female protagonist. Sure not every game needs one but when making a game, especially historical fiction, there are certain things to take into account. I'm willing to bet what happened is something like Jim said. Just the way they actually develop. Their method of development probably would cost them a good amount of money to include a female playable character in the game. Which in that case means no one even thought about it early enough in production to prioritize it, therefore allowing them to budget for it. With as much money as they make any half assed budget guy could budget out the money to make a female protagonist and still get the game the way they want it.

However it would appear that its the train scenario from Back to the Future Part 3. They've past the point of no return and they can't turn back now without possibly screwing themselves over or digging a gigantic pit of debt. So when I hear them saying that its "too expensive" what I'm hearing is. "We never planned on it to begin with and we've reached a point in development where it would cost more to put her in then to exclude her." Of course if history is any indicator a lot of the damage from this stuff can be mitigated if you get a decent PR team. Which apparently Ubisoft also doesn't have the money for.

PirateRose:
Pfft, if it was really a money issue, having more women voice actors would probably save these companies a ton.

I bet you Jennifer Hale got paid less than Mark Meer for voicing Commander Shepard.

What are you basing that assumption on?

Personally, I think Ubisoft isn't really as stupid as people claim. The truth is they probably still have this Draconian belief that only games featuring Male protagonists would sell well, I really see no other reason for this bullshit.

Oh god I just had a realization. There's only one reason the animation would be drastically different between male and female assassins. They were planning female assassins.

They were just planning female assassins with porn bodies, including massive tits that would get in the way.

captcha: goes to eleven. I'm reminded of Soul Calibur's breast slider at this point

edit- oh, and btw Ubisoft, CoD freaking 2 had female soldiers in it. They used the same animation, it was historically accurate, and it was one of those little touches that don't come from a focus group and makes games better.

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