If you're part of the world's non-male population who likes to play as non-male characters in video games , then you're out of luck (again): Assassin's Creed Unity will not feature female playable characters in cooperative mode. That's as confirmed by Ubisoft creative director Alex Amancio, who told Polygon that the lack of female representation comes down to studio resources.
"It's double the animations, it's double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets," Amancio said . "Especially because we have customizable assassins. It was really a lot of extra production work."
Meanwhile, speaking on the same subject, Ubisoft technical director told VideoGamer roughly the same thing. “It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it's a question of focus and production," he said . "So we wanted to make sure we had the best experience for the character. 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.”
Amancio also confirmed that in cooperative mode, each player will appear to themselves as lead protagonist Arno, while the three other human players will appear as other assassins. It works the same way Watch Dogs' online component does, basically.
Ubisoft unveiled a lengthy Assassin's Creed: Unity gameplay video earlier this week at its E3 2014 press conference. Later, PC Gamer's Samuel Roberts spoke to Amancio about how the game's newly minted campaign cooperative functionality will work in practice.
Update: Jonathan Copper, Assassin's Creed III's animation director, has been talking about the complexity of introducing female character animations to the game. You can find his tweets below.
In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two's work. Not a replacement of 8000 animations. http://t.co/z4OZl3Sngl June 11, 2014
Man, if I had a dollar for every time someone at Ubisoft tried to bullshit me on animation tech ;-) June 11, 2014
Fun fact #2: Aveline de Grandpré shares more of Connor Kenway's animations than Edward Kenway does. pic.twitter.com/lFHHnBfLht June 11, 2014