Ubisoft, Market Your Female Protagonists!

This is my second, and final, negative post about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (ACV).

For those completely unfamiliar with the game, ACV gives you the option to play either:

  • entirely as a female version of Eivor,
  • entirely as a male version of Eivor,
  • or let the animus (the device in the game universe that lets you relive past memories) decide.

The Animus choice is the default. It means you play as a female Eivor through most of the game, only playing as male during “potion”-induced visions.

From this we can deduce that the default, the version of Eivor that developers created the game around, is female. But, with that being the case, why then does nearly all of the major ACV marketing feature a male Eivor. In fact, looking at the ACV page on Ubisoft.com, you wouldn’t even know there’s a female version of Eivor.

The amount of joy people took in playing as Kassandra in Odyssey (with a very similarly under-marketed female protagonist) should have clued Ubisoft in to the fact that a male lead character isn’t necessary for a game to succeed.

Potentially Controversial Opinions

I would argue that the male version of Eivor isn’t necessary at all in the main storyline. Eivor is female, and she should have been allowed to shine. You may understand my position better if you read this article, but be aware that it has some major spoilers.

Whether or not you chose to read the article, know that male Eivor is a lie. The justification for including a male Eivor is flimsy at best. It seems as though Ubisoft wants to receive the accolades for having a female protagonist, without taking the perceived risk of marketing said female protagonist. If they include a male Eivor, then they don’t have to market a female Eivor.

Annoying? Definitely. Shitty? Arguably, yes. Enough to make me stop playing Assassin’s Creed? Admittedly, not yet.

Ubisoft, in my opinion, took responsibility for their mistakes in Unity and Odyssey. The made changes as necessary. I hope they’ll do the same with the next game. They’ve earned the right to another chance, or at least, the AC teams have.

I don’t know that anything could truly redeem ACV for me, but, I’m willing to keep an open mind. I can only hope that the next AC release redeems the series like Syndicate did after Unity.

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