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Ubisoft says it will patch out ‘ableist’ Assassin’s Creed Valhalla content, following criticism
Publisher apologises for in-game text
Ubisoft has said it will remove a character description from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, after it was criticised for discriminating against people with disabilities.
This week Courtney Craven, the editor of the publication for disabled gamers Can I Play That, highlighted the in-game description for a burn victim who is “terrified someone will see her disfigured face”.
They wrote: “It’s absolutely unacceptable to talk about facial differences this way. Writers for games and otherwise need to do better.”
Assassin's Creed Valhalla Guides:
The official Assassin’s Creed twitter account was quick to apologize for the content and pledged to remove it via a future update.
“Thank you so much for pointing this out – we apologize for unintentionally reinforcing ableism through this language. We will remove this language in an upcoming update,” it wrote.
Last week Ubisoft – which has been the subject of a storm of sexual misconduct allegations this year – also promised to remove content from Watch Dogs Legion, after one of the game’s voice actors was criticised for their views on gender identity.
London-based journalist Helen Lewis appears in two in-game podcasts in the open-world title, in which she discusses the threat of fascism within the fictional game world.
Lewis’s involvement was criticised on Twitter and the ResetEra forum after her past comments, which many regard as transphobic, were brought to light.
Ubisoft acted quickly on the criticism, confirming in a statement that it would remove two in-game podcasts featuring Lewis in a future Watch Dogs: Legion patch.
“Neither Ubisoft nor the game reflect this journalist’s viewpoints,” it said. “While the in-game podcasters are following a pre-approved script and are not speaking in their own name or with their own opinions, we understand this collaboration itself may be seen as offensive and we deeply regret any hurt this has caused.
“In response, we will be replacing these two podcast episodes in an upcoming update and will reinforce our background checks for partners in the future.”