Assassin's Creed IV director says that future entries in the franchise could feature female assassins.
Gaming has long been perceived as a boy's club, and while it may be true that early videogames were played primarily by males, it's been a long time since this has been the case. According to to ESA, women now make up nearly half of all gamers with their numbers constantly on the rise. Even so, the roles of women in most games remain limited. If they aren't being portrayed as sex objects or damsels in distress, they're often relegated to sidekick status with the protagonist spot reserved for a man.
While many would like to see some variation from the trend of male protagonists, you can expect it to continue for the time being, at least in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Speaking to IGN, Ashraf Ismail, director of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, commented on why the protagonist of the franchise's newest game will, again, be a man.
"Really early on, we decided to tell the story of the Kenways. So we had in place the idea to tell Edward, Haytham, and Connor," said Ismail. "We never actually thought, 'could this be a woman?'" Aside from the idea simply not occurring to them, Ismail also cited the potential historical conflicts of having a> female protagonist in the new, pirate-themed Assassin's Creed. "There were a few famous women pirates. But it wasn't common. So we didn't want that element to be a detail people got stuck on."
These reasons aside, it's not surprising that Ubisoft would be reluctant to employ a female protagonist. While there are ongoing debates as to why it happens, sales figures do tend to indicate that games with male heroes outsell similar, female-fronted titles. While the console-based Assassin's Creed games have been famously successful, they're also expensive to make. Taking any sort of unnecessary risk probably strikes as untenable to the money men behind it.
Nonetheless, Ismail is confident that we'll see some change in the future. "I would say it wouldn't be surprising to see a female assassin coming up in a mainline Assassin's Creed," said Ismail. Your day will come ladies, just not now.