The Last of Us' Ashley Johnson angry over lack of female characters in Assassin's Creed: Unity

VideoGamer: The Last of Us voice actress Ashley Johnson has criticised Ubisoft for failing to include playable female characters in Assassin's Creed: Unity and called for developers to include "stronger females that are not just the damsel in distress, the love interest or oversexualised".

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randomass1711914d ago

Can't say I blame her. I mean she played one of the best female video game characters in the last decade. Were I in her shoes I'd probably be frustrated with that news too.

XB1_PS41914d ago

Once there are a lot of women devs in the industry, that's when you'll see a balance. Right now it's mostly men making what they know best.

Baka-akaB1914d ago (Edited 1914d ago )

Except female producers and devs will still provide what sells on the market or the story they just wanna tell .

You saw the same phenomenon for a while , and still to some extent , within mainstream superhero comics . Just because the writer or main artist is female , doesnt mean they'll do the gender justice or that they care to .

XboxDD1914d ago

Nor they need to care about it. All these political correct nutties need to learn how to let people do it the way they are comfortable with it.

Baka-akaB1914d ago

People forget that while a big business now , gaming is still an art driven medium . You dont command art to be just fair and push equal rights and portrayal for everyone

Eonjay1914d ago


You don't know what you are talking about.
The premise that there aren't woman in the industry is a false premise and you are wrong.

On the surface it looks like you make a good argument, but what do people on gaming websites really know about the industry?

Gohadouken1914d ago

Well some want to believe the worst "offenders" in their narrow views in the matter of gender equality , or even "sexual objectification" , are solely men .

The majority might be , sure , but plenty women are content with designing male heroes , writting about them , or depicting sexy women . It's not some sisterhood solidarity based system .

assdan1914d ago

There's already a lot of female devs. It doesn't make sense how there aren't more females at this point.

DragonKnight1914d ago

Looks like someone is just hopping on a bandwagon.

Too many people remain willfully ignorant of the systems in place for Assassin's Creed Unity. Too many people are accusing Ubisoft, a development studio that DEFINES diversity, of being sexist. I pity her, and any who share her opinion because they choose to ignore facts and focus on emotionally driven responses.

badz1491913d ago


"Right now it's mostly men making what they know best."

it's like you're saying most men know more about biceps, abs and being a hero than knowing about women. I disagree :-P

Dee_911913d ago

I would like to play with a female character more often, does it bother me to the point of anger.. hell no.Not that serious

Michiel19891913d ago

I really couldn't care less which gender i play in a game. If its a cool female character thats fine, if its a cool male caracter thats fine also.

She kind of contradicts herself tho, she talks about making female characters without being oversexualized, damsel in distress etc. Then she says that they should just put a female character in Unity. If they would put in a female character now it would be just that...just for the hell of putting a female as playable char..... Let devs make their games, they make THEIR game, stop trying to force things into games because of because.

Ares84HU1913d ago

My favorite games of all time are the Tomb Raider games which has a female lead.

Now that being said, not every game needs to have a female lead and there is no reason to be angry because of that other than being a sexist, feminist, what today being considered is "politically correct" ass.

This lady should keep her remakrs to herself. It shows how dumb she is.

1913d ago
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user14394141914d ago ShowReplies(2)
NegativeCreep4271914d ago ShowReplies(1)
solar1913d ago

Political Correctness sucks.

brave27heart1913d ago

I think the argument isnt about wether a Dev should be forced to include women in games, but where they choose not to what are their reasons for that, and when they do whats their motive.

Too many devs, or more likely publishers, believe a female lead harms sales. They see gaming as a male audience who react better to male protagonists. Thats an outdated opinion that needs to change.

Likewise when women are included they are too often oversexualised and are there as eye candy. They form a plot point - rescue the woman, take revenge for your murdered wife, all clichéd roles that demote women to lesser roles in society. Which leads to a generation of people continuing on that line of thinking (see the comments in this thread alone that inequality "isnt an issue" or "has no place in gaming".

The reality is things are better, much better actually, and more games are getting it right than those that get it wrong. Cod Ghosts allows female characters in MP but doesnt shoehorn them into single player for the sake if it. Thats a good example of thinking about the problem and coming to a solution that doesnt infinge on their artistic license.

I think AC Unity is getting a hard time because of the way they announced it. Their reasoning is okay in my mind, I can see the logic and their history with including women in games suggests its not a sexist decision, but they announced it like douches and that garnered them flack I dont think they deserve.

rdgneoz31913d ago

@brave. AC has had a female asassin, a black assassin, and a Muslim assassin, so they've had diversity. The female's sales were so "great" they gave it away with black flag for free, which not many reviews of black flag even mentioned. Also, there have been female skins in the (wolf pack or competitive) mp, so they're in the same boat as cod..

And @ares above. Lara croft in the beginning was toothpick thin and had double Ds. She was designed for guys.

TheSaint1913d ago

When there are frontline infantry that are women, Formula 1 drivers that are women, top flight footballers that are women, then maybe we will see more, but until that day then this is what is reflected in society.

People vote with their wallets.

ZoidsRaven1913d ago

I would blame her.
She should have done some research before giving her opinion on the subject.

Adding a female character in AC:U is pointless because you wouldn't be able to play as said female. 7_7

user56695101913d ago (Edited 1913d ago )

She was better off worrying about having games more focus towards women gamers . It hard enough for a man to know what women want you think a industry dominant ed by men going to know how to make a great female character. I think we need more female dev teams that can make the game they want to , instead all these brofest games. I think mostly women can get more women to become gamers. They know what they like more than us

I'm sure many of us had a gf had a gf or female friend ask why we play these games ( pointing at these shooters) or only want to watch instead of playing . A lot of chicks I know play a lot of the sims and MMOs and Nintendo games.

I'm not saying all and I'm not saying that there isn't female devs. I'm just saying we need more dev teams focus on bring more female focus games. But that's all politics. We know why with these big publishers. That's one of the reasons I like the surge of devs forming their own company and doing kick starters. Hopefully we see a female dominant company that's focus on games for females to see if they can bring something fresh to the industry

2cents1913d ago

As much as I understand the feminine side of the argument, people don't stop for a second to think that plain old boring characters don't make for an enjoyable game.

I agree that unity should have had some badass female assassins, but her quote "stronger females that are not just the damsel in distress, the love interest or over sexualised" I don't really get.

Every single game that has a male protagonist is always a character that men would normally aspire to in some way, be it morality, strength, conviction, style. Never is it because the character is a normal, run of the mill male character that has no discernable physical or emotional traits.

when the game is heavily story driven then normal characters can work, like TLOU, Alan wake, Silent Hill(2 especially) its much easier to relate to a simple character when the story is sombre and serious.

but for action, rpg, fps etc we want exciting flamboyant and over the top characters to jazz up the experience. Eg. Bayonetta, heavenly sword, god of war, gears of war, final fantasy, duke nukem. These games need physically strong, costume wearing, flesh flashing, one line delivering stereotypes that have no place in the real world. Which is why we play games with these characters in them. Its fun.

If the style and taste fits the game and its narrative then the more ridiculous the better.

There are a lack of female protagonists in games yes, but if the market desires it, it will happen. Now more and more people become 'gamers' the developers will need to cater to maturing tastes. But... There is a place for all types of characters in games. If the next bayonetta was a mild mannered mature woman the game would be booooring. Just like if kratos donned a shirt and tie for his next butchery people would be like wtf?

But the next tomb raider shows these signs of maturity that I mentioned, as the new lara is far more human than her balloon meloned predecessor. Times change.

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Neonridr1914d ago

man I thought I recognized her from the Growing Pains.. lol

optimus1913d ago

That's right, i thought she looked familiar. I always wondered what happened to her. She certainly aged well...but she does have a point though.

-Foxtrot1914d ago (Edited 1914d ago )

She does realise in the multiplayer you will get to play as female, all AC games which have had multiplayer lets you choose female characters.

However the co-op side of the single player doesn't let you be a female because if there is four of you on screen EVERYONE OF YOU is Arno while your friends looks like generic Assassins on your screen

Point is even if you could select a female for co-op, you wouldn't see it on your screen.

paidadvertiser1914d ago

You do realize that they've already confirmed that there is no competitive multiplayer in Unity since they want to focus on the co-op aspect? Do you actually read the articles posted here or just comment on as many as you can?

-Foxtrot1914d ago

I was actually making a reference that Ubisoft have done female characters you know...don't get you panties in a twist.

DragonKnight1914d ago

Foxtrot, there is no female option in AC Unity due to the fact that the multiplayer is based on Watch Dogs' mechanics. That makes it impossible to have female avatars unless you change the protagonist to female.

cleft51914d ago (Edited 1914d ago )

"But it did make me upset. There are so many female gamers...," she continued. "I don't know what the percentage is at this point but there are a lot of females that play video games and it would be nice to see stronger females in a game that are not just the damsel in distress, the love interest or she's oversexualised. She doesn't even necessarily have to be a badass. Just like a normal female character."

All she is saying is that it was annoying that there is no female character to play in their multiplayer and she would like to see it there. That's it, she isn't demonizing them but using her voice to speak up so this is less likely to happen again. Like you said, you don't even see the character when you select them... so why not have the option there for those that want it. Personally I like playing the female character in multiplayer so it sucks for me that the option isn't there.

If people don't complain about the things that bother them than how will companies know that they have done something wrong. If no one complained about the Xbox One we would be stuck with archaic drm, mandatory Kinect, and no option to play used games. She has a voice and she is using it, this is a good thing. She didn't call anyone sexist or overract, she is just openly saying she wants the option to play a female character in the multiplayer, not a big deal. The reality is that companies do listen and a lot of people, not just women, feel the same way but they don't have her popularity. Good for her, too many people are afraid to voice their opinion and just sit back and silently be angry.

Gohadouken1914d ago (Edited 1914d ago )

Except it does look more she is reacting to the perceived controversity at hand , rather than fully knowing the subject .

Basically she read or heard that "Damn ubi soft doesnt want us to have female models in mp , that's so sexist!!" . When as they said it serves no purpose for them to waste money on a complete set of animation , when the concept and story is made to see Arno and a few guys , each players "believing" to be Arno .

Would as many people react badly if they were told it doesnt make sense for the game's plot and its concept to have an asian or native american assassin strolling around in Civil War torn France ? I doubt so .

It gets downright ridiculous when we do know Ubisoft published Assassin Creed on Vita with Aveline as a lead character . And always otherwise included female models for competitive mp

InTheLab1914d ago

Don't waste your time. Anytime a woman does anything like this the community of Insecure boys charge in and downvote common sense post like these.

DragonKnight1914d ago

"Like you said, you don't even see the character when you select them... so why not have the option there for those that want it."

Uh, do you realize how wrong your opinion is based on that statement? Look into Watch Dogs' multiplayer and you should see why, but let me explain it to you.

AC Unity's multiplayer is only co-op and is partly seamless. When you're playing the game, you are playing as Arno who is the protagonist. When you want people to co-op with you, they enter your single player campaign to help you out. You'll remain as Arno, but you'll see them as a generic model based off of Arno's model. When they enter your game, they do so as Arno themselves because they are playing their own game. No matter who is playing the game, they will always see themselves as Arno.

So if there were female models, you'd never see yourself as one because Arno is not female, he's male. So unless the multiplayer were genericized, or Arno was changed to Arnette, what everyone is complaining about remains impossible.

"If people don't complain about the things that bother them than how will companies know that they have done something wrong."

This isn't wrong. It's a development choice. The personal attitudes and opinions of individuals are irrelevant and not a moral, or ethical measurement. Ubisoft hasn't done anything wrong, so they have no reason to feel like they have.

uth111914d ago

Why not be upset at the industry in general for this?

When you single out Assassin's Creed Unity for this, you look like a bandwagon-jumper.

Baka-akaB1914d ago (Edited 1914d ago )

Ubisoft singled itself out , by commenting the way they did on the matter . It was refreshingly candid ... as they said out loud what most big publishers thinks on the subject of games gender and demographics , but still wouldnt be well received .

uth111914d ago

only because they tried giving an explaination that people didn't like. What excuses would the rest of the industry give?

nobody cares because nobody asked.

Baka-akaB1914d ago (Edited 1914d ago )

Dont get me wrong , i dont agree that the game should get flak for it . But i'm just not surprise by the backlash given their past comments . It's so easy to flame , be it within or outside the context .

Of course people will also forget how they did try having a female lead for an assassin creed game . And not such a minor spin off as believed , as most of its mechanics and ideas translated into new gameplay features for Blackflag and future games

Eamon1914d ago

The whole thing is overblown.

The 3 co-op characters are not actually characters. Every player will see theirs as Arno anyway.

It's basically not too different to Ezio's assassins that you could call up in AC2-ACR. Except in Unity they can be used as co-op partners.

Ogygian1914d ago (Edited 1914d ago )

I respect Ubisoft for sticking to their guns on the issue and not letting a few loud people shouting and screaming change things for all of us.

I didn't buy Dead Island because of the characters, all of which were poor. Meanwhile, my friends (all male) and I used to pull straws to see who had to play Rochelle.

If she wants more female characters, why not start a fund to support studios which put them in games? At the end of the day, if she's really going to fight for something, she has to be prepared to give something up to achieve it.

It's like the whole Kony thing. If the internet really cared, we would have stopped "liking" and "sharing" posts and would instead have poured money towards a PMC tasked with going into Uganda and capturing the man.

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OtakuDJK1NG-Rory1913d ago (Edited 1913d ago )

except Nintendo been gender-equality for all of their multiplayer games

Zero-One1914d ago

I'm getting rather annoyed of this whole agenda of non-sense. A video game is suppose to entertain you. Not be some equal rights b.s.

ion6661914d ago

your absolutely right .It created from someone's idea ,and made with others who share the dream. I did'nt realize you needed p.r. for an art form.

ion531913d ago

Holy crap ion666... You have my name O_o

ion6661913d ago

I'm pretty sure I'm the original lol.

liquidhalos1914d ago

I only wish I was allowed to bubble up and agree more than once per comment. I hate that gaming is now turning into an equal rights argument platform. It's the Devs creation. It's their artistic vision to entertain us, not a reason to start burning bras. Focus on equal rights in REALITY and not in a fantasy world created with pixels.

I'd love to see gender stats for gamers, console and pc, the type of gamers who play assassins creed, cod, battlefield. Core gamers. Not mobile.

On a side note, I think it's absolutely disgusting and offensive that bubble witch saga 2 doesn't have a male character to play as.

brave27heart1913d ago

Like it or not, there is gender equality in the world. As a guy, im guessing you dont experience that, but trust me, its true. And like it or not, games, like tv, film and music, influence peoples thinking. So its absolutely right that gaming should be looking at itself as an industry and fighting inequality where it can.

Note, thats "where it can". Personally I think AC Unity made a design decision and they can back that up with a reasonable argument as to why theres no playable female characters. I also think they've been generally very good in including women in games, which ironically is probably harming them now its taken out.

But, we can all think of games where women are scantily clad oversexualused two dimensional tokens and that does nothing but reinforce the sexualisation and objectification of women which is prevelant in the media today.

My opinion is those people slamming AC Unity are doing so unfairly, but those saying equality has no place in gaming need to wake up. Equality has a place in everything.

liquidhalos1913d ago

If you think pixilated people are real enough to deserve sympathy for being shown as sexualized objects then I have to ask this question. How does your conscience cope with killing people in shooting games? Do you suffer remorse when you run pedestrians over in gta type games? Or is your mind able to cope with realising that it's all make believe. You can't pick and choose. If you want equal rights in games then you have to respect human rights too. Stop killing people, it's not right.

MegaRay1914d ago

Nah, she just want more female characters so she can voice one of them and get some $$$

RichardDawkins1913d ago

I agree. You want female characters in the game?? Make a studio full of females and make a game. Not that hard.

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