Japan Doesn't Really Want Its Own Assassin's Creed, Either

Illustration for article titled Japan Doesn't Really Want Its Own Assassin's Creed, Either

Wouldn't Japan made a great setting for Assassin's Creed? Beautiful cities, amazing weaponry, and, yes, ninja. The game's developers begs to differ, saying that Japan wouldn't make a good AC setting.


But what does Japan think? Japan, for the most part, agrees.

Sister site Kotaku Japan translated Kotaku's article, which detailed Ubisoft's reasons for not doing the game—which seemed to hinge on the sheer number of ninja games. Ubisoft obviously wants unique settings for AC.

The post made its way around Japanese blogs, such as Hachima and Oreteki. The two most common reason Japanese commenters gave for not wanting an Assassin's Creed set in Japan were that traditional Japanese buildings were not tall and that, well, ninja do not equal assassins. That isn't to say ninja didn't kill people (they did), but rather, ninja were spies, who were used to collect info.

According to one comment, "That's because ninja are not assassins..." Another wrote, "It's not a real ninja, but what foreigners think a ninja is, which is why they are unable to tell a ninja and an assassin apart."

"Ninja games that foreigners make are weird, so no thanks," wrote another commenter. "You guys are putting way too much emphasis on ninjas," quipped one commenter. "Foreigners don't even like ninjas that much."


A few did seem interested in an Assassin's Creed game set in Japan. "Make it during the end of the Edo Era," wrote one. And there were even a few off-topic requests for a Grand Theft Auto set in Tokyo.

Yet, there was also the evitable chorus of foreigners-cannot-understand-Japan. "Foreigners cannot reproduce Japan," wrote one comment. "It's because they lack a Japanese soul."


"There's no way they can understand Japan, so forget it," echoed another comment. "They'd probably skip the background research and end up with this odd, stereotypical version of Japan, so no thanks," added one comment.

Not everyone was so pessimistic. Wrote one, "It'd be interesting to see how foreigners portrayed Japan." It might be interesting, but it doesn't sound like developers of Assassin's Creed will be doing that any time soon.


The Stig's graphic designer cousin

So, what exactly does the philosophy behind ninja have to do with the Assassin's Guild? Just because the setting of the game could (potentially) be japan, where ninja did exist, doesn't mean that the Assassin's Guild would be ninja. They would merely be two separate entities co-existing in the same space, Much like ninjitsu, karate, kenjutsu, etc.

Would the assassin's employ some ninja-like techniques? Sure. That's one way that they could blend in with their surroundings, but would they be ninja? No. They would be their own order, with their own heirarchy, and their own core techniques, that borrowed from other martial arts when appropriate.