Finally, some answers from the gaming industry! After years of clamoring from female video game fans who just want their existence acknowledged by the billion-dollar industry they dump all of their money into, one game director is speaking out. It's not that video game designers are sexist—it's not that they don't want to include powerful, playable, non-sexualized female characters once in a fucking while—it's just that animating women is haaaarrrrrrdd, you guuyyyysss! Plus, we're really, really busy animating all these men!
That's the actual real literal excuse from Assassin's Creed: Unity technical director James Therien. Via Uproxx:
"A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes [inaudible]. It would have doubled the work on those things. And I mean it's something the team really wanted, but we had to make a decision… It's unfortunate, but it's a reality of game development. Yes, we have tonnes of resources, but we're putting them into this game, and we have huge teams, nine studios working on this game and we need all of these people to make what we are doing here."
You did read that correctly; there are nine studios working on this game. Apparently, hiring a few extra animators and designers to represent half the gamers out there just isn't in the budget! Not that this is a statement of Ubisoft's general opinion of what's a priority and what isn't or anything!
What—are we supposed to animate EVERY FOLD OF HER LADY-FLOWER!? Those things are complicated!!!!!
Seriously, people. Just take a male character and make him female. Seriously. Seriously. You don't have to change the dialogue so it has more feelings in it, or add a subplot about menses, or make your animators pull an all-nighter to add some massive, globular cans. Just be like, oh, this assassin's name is Becky. DONE. For fuck's sake.