It wasn’t fair that last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity became the fall guy for an entire industry’s reluctance to make its digital people diverse. Unfortunately the apparently contradictory excuses, rather than acknowledgement of oversight, for cutting playable female characters from a game whose headline feature was co-op play with customised avatars made the situation much worse. In any case, the series now seems determined to be more inclusive, starting with the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate [official site].
We already know that you can switch between its male and female protagonists, twins Jacob and Evie Fry, and now it’s been revealed that the supporting cast will include a trans man.
Ned Wynert is a quest-giver character (presumably in line with the meticulously-rendered, very chatty quest’n’cutscene folk of the preceding games). He’s not in the picture above, FYI, but hopefully we’ll get to see him soon. The game has a Victorian London setting, but a period trans character would not be unfounded – take military surgeon James Barry, among others.
Wynert’s inclusion is accompanied by an update to Assassin’s Creed’s longstanding introductory text, which famously/notoriously stated that the games were “designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs.”
According to our chums at Eurogamer, who have played some of the game and spoken to its developers, in Syndicate that statement now reads “this work of fiction was designed, developed, and produced by a multicultural team of various beliefs, sexual orientations and gender identities.” The update came as a result of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate creative director Marc-Alexis Côté’s discussions with his writing team, some of whom had observed that the much-ballyhooed line was “not embracing diversity fully enough.”
Cote also tells Eurogamer that “Inclusiveness is something that’s super important for us as a team. We’ve made a good push towards diversity and how we approach different subjects in the game.”
Eurogamer have played through some of Ned Wynert’s scenes, and note that nothing they saw revolved around his gender, and nor is it commented upon. We don’t have any images of him as yet, by the way.
Obviously I have no idea how well it will all play out in the game itself, but in theory these things are happy things.