Video games today have become works of art in some ways — you can now see individual strands of a character's hair, for God's sake. Yet there seems to be one aspect of video game graphics that just remains too hard: animating women, because, well, #WomenAreTooHardToAnimate apparently. For their upcoming game Assassin's Creed Unity, which takes place during the French Revolution, game maker Ubisoft has announced that there won't be any female characters available to play, and if that wasn't already bad enough, their reasons are even worse.
According to the the technical director, James Therien, "A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes ... It would have doubled the work on those things." Ah yes, because as we all know, women are strange and mysterious creatures bearing no resemblance whatsoever to men. And designing a female character would be double the work of designing a male character, naturally.
Plus, everyone knows there weren't any female assassins during the French Revolution, that would be — oh wait.
Meanwhile, the official people at Ubisoft, noticing all the backlash, put out a hasty statement pointing out how good they've been at having female leads in the past. Which really only underscores the point that it really isn't so hard to do. It's not like they had nine studios working on this or anything. Oh wait, they did. But, you know, they were super busy coming up with all sorts of different variations for their white, male protagonist, and assigning one dude to spend eight months perfectly recreating Notre Dame for the game. That's really important, guys.
Gaming fans, shockingly enough, have not been appeased by the new statement. The hashtag #WomenAreTooHardToAnimate has been picking up steam on Twitter with gamers of both genders venting their frustration with this anti-woman attitude. Because as they make it clear, "too hard to animate" is a bogus excuse.
Time for these developers to step it up.