After releasing the RPG-esque Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, within which the player could choose to have their character in a same gender relationship (or no relationship whatsoever) a DLC forced once -potentially queer characters into a same-sex relationship with children, resulting in outcry from fans.
This DLC, entitled Shadow Heritage, not only forced these characters into relationships with children – alienating many LGBTQ players – but also included an achievement entitled “Growing Up”, which was quickly interpreted by some as an attempt to indicate the player character had “grown out” of these sexualities, reinforcing the idea of being queer simply “being a phase” or forcing these characters into heteronormativity.
Ubisoft employees, including the narrative director of Odyssey, had gone on record previously stating the importance of including LGBTQ relationships as part of being able to “play your own odyssey” – and the upset of fans at such a huge change in tone was rightly deserved – and clearly heard.
their in-game claims of diversity within the teams served to defend their actions more than promote progressive elements in their games.
Their in-game claims of diversity within the teams served to defend their actions more than promote progressive elements in their games.
Many fans from marginalised backgrounds have called Ubisoft into question, stating they had outright lied in their aims to “never force players in romantic situations they might not be comfortable with”, and that their in-game claims of diversity within the teams served to defend their actions more than promote progressive elements in their games.
American LGBTQ organisation GLAAD criticised this change & the organisation has been in contact with Ubisoft in order to work together to improve not only this DLC, but future content releases. Updates for Shadow Heritage will be released in an upcoming patch.
Apart from changing the name of the “Growing Up” achievement, tweaking a cutscene and some dialogue, it has not been stated how far these changes will impact the game. Nor is it clear whether these changes will address being forced into an opposite-gender relationship. Creative director John Dumont has stated that it will “reflect the nature of the relationship for players selecting a non-romantic storyline”.