Today saw the release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Ubisoft‘s latest entry in their long-running franchise. The game received largely positive reviews, despite a few criticisms here and there. All in all, it looks to be a successful outing for the series.
One gamer in particular, Courtney Craven of gaming site Can I Play That?, found a line of narrative in Valhalla that they found troubling and brought it to Ubisoft’s attention. It’s an oversight on Ubisoft’s part, but one they’re planning to address.
This being the Internet, Craven’s tweet was met with plenty of responses, and it’s no surprise that a hearty portion were both hostile and ignorant. In the end, they had to lock their account. Ubisoft, to their credit, responded promptly and supportively.
“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’s important to note here that Craven didn’t use the word ableism. Ubisoft brought that to the table, so good on them for recognizing what it was and being determined to correct it. “Disfigured” is not a nice word.
An equally important thing to point out is that Craven did not make a big deal out of this. They could’ve easily incorporated it into their write-up of the game, and even made the piece about the language, but instead simply chose to address it on social media.
It’s very nice to see Ubisoft respond the way they did. This isn’t the end of the world, but yes, people should do better. It’s nice to see compassionate, responsible adults working something out, rather than, you know, the utter chaos that usually accompanies something like this.
They haven’t said when this update will hit, but considering that the game recently launched and bugs will likely be patched out soon, I would guess that they’ll simply work the fix into of those patches.
This isn’t the first time that Ubisoft has addressed something like this. Gamers weren’t unhappy with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s DLC containing mandatory heterosexual relationships, especially when the main game allowed for same-sex relationships. Ubisoft implemented changes in a following update.
We’ve come a long way. Nobody is calling for a boycott, nor is anyone doubling-down on insensitivity. Yes, everyone needs to be better, but people are getting better, and it shows.
We still have a ways to go, as evidenced by the responses to the tweet, but we’re on the right path.
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