Ubisoft, which has spent much of the summer dealing with widespread reports of sexism, harassment, and misconduct at the company, put out a short video on Twitter yesterday highlighting all of the Assassin’s Creed protagonists who have mastered the hidden blade. Somehow it left out all of the women.
“The blade is back,” Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed UK Twitter account tweeted out, promoting the fact that the hidden blade, the series’ longstanding insta-kill mechanic, will seemingly be a big deal again in this fall’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla after it was severely nerfed in recent years. An attached video ran through a bunch of different times the blade has been featured throughout the franchise, beginning with 2007’s original Assassin’s Creed, but managed to exclude any female character who ever used the weapon, including Aveline, the star of Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, the first game in the series to star a female assassin.
Today Ubisoft is back with a second tweet. “We clearly missed some great assassins in this video, and we apologise,” the publisher wrote. “We’ve updated the asset to highlight ALL the assassins who master the hidden blade.” The new highlight reel includes Shao Jun from the animated short film Assassin’s Creed: Embers (and the sidescroller Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China), Aveline de Grandpré from Liberation, Evie Frye from Syndicate, and Aya from Origins. And instead of ending on just the male version of Eivor from Valhalla, the new video ends on a splitscreen of both versions of the character. It’s a much better attempt overall, even if characters such as Lydia Frye and Adewalé are still missing.
Ubisoft debuted Valhalla using the male version of Eivor, relegating the female version’s reveal to a special edition collectible and then sneaking her into her own version of the game’s first trailer months later.
As Bloomberg reported in July, there appears to be a pattern of certain powerful people within Ubisoft pushing to diminish and sideline Assassin’s Creeds’ female characters over the course of the series’ development. Erasing them completely from a new promotional video calls into question what exactly Ubisoft is doing internally to stop that from happening in the future.
Ubisoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.