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Ubisoft developer apologises to LGBTQ+ fans for controversial DLC


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Ubisoft’s Creative Director posted an apology on 17th January in response to the backlash the company received because of their new DLC, which forced players to make their characters be in a straight relationship. 

Ubisoft released a DLC add-on for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, named Legacy of the First Blade, on 15th January. It quickly sparked controversy amongst LGBTQ+ fans, as it gave players no choices with the protagonist’s relationship, which the original game had allowed.

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Players unlocked a "Growing Up" trophy upon completion of the episode, which LGBTQ+ fans claimed implied that being anything but straight is a "phase" that they could eventually grow out of.

Creative Director Jonathan Dumont posted an apology on Ubisoft’s online forum, saying: “We want to extend an apology to players disappointed by a relationship your character partakes in. The intention of this story was to explain how your character’s bloodline has a lasting impact on the Assassins, but looking through your responses, it is clear that we missed the mark." 

He later went on to admit that they struggled with the role-play choices and story, which resulted in a poor final product, but promised that the next episode of this DLC will not require engagement in any lasting relationships if the player doesn’t want to.

Dumont finished his apology with “We’ll work to do better and make sure the element of player choice in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey carries through our DLC content so you can stay true to the character you have embodied throughout." 

The original game revolved around the idea of players being able to choose their own "Odyssey", including whom their protagonist (either Kassandra or Alexios) falls in love with. This meant LGBTQ+ gamers were able to align themselves with their chosen character. However, this post-launch story arc instantly dismissed any choices made in the initial game.

The abrupt change in pace in the DLC resulted in many fans expressing their feelings in a lengthy Assassin’s Creed Reddit thread.

One shared: “I’m gay and I always like to envision myself as the characters I play, if the game gives you the freedom to shape them, It’s just that if you let my character be gay in the main game, don’t force me to have straight sex in the DLC."

Another said: “What about those who played their Misthios as asexual (or those who played straight but don’t want their PC to become a parent)? Not only that, but to call the mission “Growing Up” is insulting to any LGBT fan of AC who was told their sexuality was only a “phase” and that they’d grow out of it."

Ubisoft hasn’t announced any plans to release a new episode that fixes all of these issues, therefore fans should not be expecting any new releases apart from the next episode to Legacy of the First Blade.

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