Skip to main content

Some Ubisoft developers wanted a female-only option in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Numerous Ubisoft developers wanted a female-only protagonist option for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, according to an Ubisoft collaborator.

I was approached by one of Ash’s victims who showed me bits of conversations and confirmed something that isn’t quite out, but that won’t surprise anyone.
Just like for Syndicate, Origins and Odyssey, it was the devs wish that Valhalla featured a female protagonist. Exclusively.

— “Seiiki” Dell’Aria (@Memento_Gallery) August 4, 2020

Since 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, each franchise entry offered the option to play as either a male or female protagonist. Prior to Syndicate, there were no female protagonist options at all. The choice between male and female protagonists will be present in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which will release later this year.

Ubisoft collaborator and illustrator “Seiiki” Dell’Aria said he was approached by a woman that he claims was sexually harassed by Assassin’s Creed Valhalla former creative director Ashraf Ismail. She reportedly showed Dell’Aria “bits of conversations” between some Ubisoft developers that allegedly show “it was the [developers’] wish that Valhalla featured a female protagonist. Exclusively.”

“Execs blocked them from doing that and forced the team to include a male version of Eivor,” Dell’Aria said, “because a woman alone wouldn’t have sold, insisting that the marketing campaign should have focused on male Eivor.”

Dell’Aria pointed out the male Eivor is the predominant version gamers have seen through Valhalla‘s multiple previews. He refused to identify his source until the conversations between the developers illustrating the desire for a female-only protagonist option are publicly revealed, but says that he “believe[s] what they told me and showed me.”

Dell’Aria recommended that concerned and frustrated gamers should assign blame to company executives, rather than the developers, as it was executives who denied the idea of having an exclusively female playable character in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Dell’Aria’s tweets also feeds the discussion of male and female protagonists in gaming. Although high-profile games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Control feature female player characters, there are more male protagonists than female protagonists in gaming.

The tweet comes after multiple executives and other Ubisoft employees were terminated or resigned due to misconduct allegations. Consultants were hired to address the broader issues within Ubisoft.

The issues at Ubisoft are an extension of a broader problem in the gaming industry. This controversy, along with pervasive sexual misconduct in the Twitch and competitive Super Smash Bros. communities, points to a culture of toxic masculinity in the gaming space.

Editors' Recommendations

Brandon McIntyre
Assassin’s Creed Mirage announced with more info coming next week
Assassin's Creed Mirage Key Art

Ubisoft has officially announced the next entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise: Assassin's Creed Mirage. Ubisoft has only shared the first image of the game, but more information will be revealed at the Ubisoft Forward event on September 10 at 12 PM PST.

Bloomberg's Jason Schreier shed some details about rumors on this game, including that its setting is Baghdad and that it "returns to the basics." It's reportedly more reminiscent of the first several Assassin's Creed games, rather than the more recent RPG-centric ones like Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Read more
The next Assassin’s Creed game reportedly delayed to spring 2023
Main character of Assassin's Creed: Liberation on building.

Ubisoft on Thursday announced that it delayed "a smaller unannounced premium game" to next year along with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. It turns out that the premium game in question is Assassin's Creed Rift, and it has been delayed to spring 2023, Bloomberg confirmed on Friday.

An unnamed source familiar with Ubisoft's plans told Bloomberg's Jason Schreier that the game publisher's office in Bordeaux, France, which is heading the project, asked for more time to develop and polish Assassin's Creed Rift because it was falling behind in terms of the development schedule. The spring 2023 release window means that it could come out anywhere between March and June of next year. Ubisoft said in a press release that it would release the game in fiscal year 2023-24.

Read more
Assassin’s Creed Infinity: release date speculation, gameplay, and more
Assassin leaping through the air to kill a target

The Assassin's Creed franchise has become an integral part of video game culture. With 12 major titles under their belt, Ubisoft Montreal and Quebec have been expanding the ever-so-secret society of Assassins on a relatively yearly basis. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla was the biggest game yet, with over 100 hours of content between the base game and current DLCs, but Ubisoft is dreaming even bigger.

Assassin's Creed Infinity is starting to sound like the biggest game of all time, but news on the front has taken a backseat as of late. Ubisoft seems more focused on Skull and Bones, due out November 8, 2022.  That said, here's everything we know about Assassin's Creed Infinity, including release date, gameplay, multiplayer, and more.

Read more