"Assassins Creed Shadows" under fire after Yasuke and monetisation controversies spark debate

Image Credit(s): IGN

"Assassins Creed Shadows" under fire after Yasuke and monetisation controversies spark debate

author image Wahid Sami |

June 2, 2024 at 5:00 PM BST

Ubisoft’s upcoming game “Assassin's Creed Shadows,” set in feudal Japan, has sparked some controversy surrounding its protagonist and its pricing. Although some people won't mind the Yasuke controversy, Ubisoft’s monetisation of said game has managed to enrage even the calmest of gamers.

The Yasuke Controversy

Ubisoft has faced global criticism for choosing Yasuke, a non-native, as one of the protagonists in their new game set in Japan. Gamers argue that this decision undermines the historical authenticity of the setting. While Edward Kenway, a Welshman, was included in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag due to narrative reasons aligning with the bloodline logic, Yasuke's inclusion has not been similarly justified. The Assassin’s Creed series is known for its meticulous integration of storylines with real history, often featuring native main characters, historical figures, and authentic locations. The decision to feature Yasuke has led to widespread speculation about Ubisoft's motives, with some accusing the company of prioritizing social ratings over a compelling narrative.

The controversy has sparked outrage on social media and YouTube, where the trailer for Shadows received a like-to-dislike ratio of 284,000:701,000. The Japanese trailer faced similar backlash. This situation has fueled criticism that Ubisoft is more focused on meeting social quotas than developing engaging storylines. Recent games in the series have been criticized for their lack of polished stories and disconnect from fan expectations, raising concerns about the direction of the franchise.

Ubisoft’s Terrible Pricing Strategy

While historical accuracy has not always been the primary focus of the Assassin’s Creed series, recent controversies have highlighted broader concerns among players. Many are more troubled by Ubisoft's pricing strategy and their approach to game ownership. The standard edition of the game is priced at $70, with a pre-order exclusive mission accessible only to those who commit to purchasing before seeing any gameplay. This has led to frustration, as consumers are expected to make decisions based solely on a cinematic trailer.

Additionally, the Gold Edition offers three-day early access and a season pass, which includes an extra mission. This has drawn criticism, as season passes for single-player games are often seen as unnecessary and exploitative. The Ultimate Edition, priced at $130, includes pay-to-win elements and cosmetic items, prompting further discontent. Players argue that these monetisation strategies undermine the value and integrity of the gaming experience.

Despite the negativity, it's crucial to consider different perspectives and avoid misinformation regarding the inclusion of Yasuke. However, the backlash against Ubisoft’s monetisation practices reflects a significant concern within the gaming community. Ultimately, the success of the game will hinge on player reception upon its release.