The latest installment of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has just been released – and some gay gamers are not happy.
One of the 2018 video game’s selling points is that players can choose to play as a male hero (Alexios) or female hero (Kassandra). No matter which you pick, you then have the option to romance male or female non-playable characters throughout the game.
Although this has been unproblematic in the original AC Odyssey game – set in Ancient Greece – the latest DLC (Downloadable Content) update only offers the option to enter romantic relationships with characters of the opposite sex. This is in order to have a child and unlock the DLC’s ‘Growing Up’ achievement.
DLC are extra missions, weapons and add-ons for the original game.
Redditor ErinKane highlighted the problem with the new content.
‘Even if you played Alexios as a gay man or Kassandra as a lesbian the game forces you to romance and end up having a kid with a partner of the opposite gender whether you want to or not. There is zero options to stop it.’
Gamers call upon Ubisoft to fix the issue
This is not the first time that a role-playing electronic game has received this criticism.
In 2017, Mass Effect Andromeda by Bioware was also criticized by some fans. They felt its handling of same-sex romance was a poorly-executed ‘afterthought’. For example, gay/bi male players had severely limited options over the other male character they could romance when compared to the number of female characters that straight male players – or women – could choose from.
Bioware eventually apologized and released a patch to offer players more choice.
ErinKane is calling for Ubisoft, which makes Assassin’s Creed, to do the same. The game is available for PC, PS4 and XBox One.
‘I am a gay woman and I’m furious about this! It feels like being punched in the stomach. I had so much love for this game and for my Kassandra and it has left me feeling mad and also depressed. I thought this was a new chapter in video games but apparently not.’
Her call to action is now gaining traction.
Ubisoft: we are so excited to make a game where you can play as who you want! Do what you want!! It’s up to you, even romance who you want!!
LGB: finally!! Thank you so much!!
Ubisoft: anyway, here’s a DLC that forces you to settle and have a child with the opposite sex#Ubisoft
— kitkat (@Korras4evergirl) January 15, 2019
‘Absolutely not playing this DLC if that is the case. Disgusting move towards all of the LGBT gamers who identified with the game on Ubisoft’s part. Fuck them,’ commented Redditor brendanrouthRETURNS.
‘I’m only a bit dumbfounded they would take a 180 on player choice like this,’ commented Mordaxis. ‘It pisses me off because I bought Odyssey recently only because of the gay romance options. I honestly would never have expected this.’
Matt Hardwick, Co-founder of LGBT group London Gaymers, told GSN the content was disappointing.
‘[Assassin’s Creed Odyssey] quite rightly won praise from LGBT audiences, but for a game that provided options for players to explore LGB identities and choices within the main game, it’s disappointing to see that this hasn’t been carried through to the DLC.
‘At best this is a lazy or insensitive writing choice. At worst, it’s potentially a demonstration that the Ubisoft writers didn’t want to tell any LGB story at all, which is why some fans have suggested that LGBT audiences were being pandered to with the initial release of the game.
‘From a gamers perspective regardless of their sexuality, what’s the point of additional downloadable story missions that ignore the choices made by the player in the main game?
‘Whilst I appreciate the difficulty of making story and code changes after release, it wouldn’t take much to rectify this with a patch or later DLC. That’s something we hope to see.’
Gay Star News has approached Ubisoft for comment.