Ubisoft eager to avoid “cultural tourism” with Assassin’s Creed Red

Consultants and Ubisoft’s own Japanese studio are working together.

Image via Ubisoft

Among the many Assassin’s Creed-related announcements from Ubisoft’s last showcase, Assassin’s Creed Codename Red will see the series finally head to Feudal Japan. This is an era that’s long been demanded by fans and, from the sound of things, Ubisoft is eager to get this one right and avoid potential controversies.

We’ve seen Western-developed games based on Asian cultures, such as Ghost of Tsushima and Sifu, be met with slight backlash and accusations of “cultural tourism.” Although these complaints never hurt the games’ sales to any major degree, Ubisoft is apparently aware of them and doesn’t want Assassin’s Creed Red to be accused of misappropriation.

As such, the company has not only hired consultants for the game but is also working with its own Japanese studio and a recently formed diversity, inclusion, and accessibility team to ensure Assassin’s Creed Red offers a truly authentic experience. This is according to Axios, who spoke with two anonymous sources who are familiar with the game’s development.

While this is welcome to hear, Axios adds that it’s unclear how much impact these advisers, both internal and external, will actually have on the game’s development. Assassin’s Creed Red will effectively be a test run to see how much influence the diversity, inclusion, and accessibility team will have on future Ubisoft projects.

It’s worth noting as well that Assassin’s Creed Red is reportedly suffering from a staffing problem. The game has Assassin’s Creed Odyssey director Jonathan Dumont as creative director, who was previously hit with allegations of verbal and sexual abuse. As such, some developers within Ubisoft are trying to avoid working on the project just because of his involvement.

Two years after allegations of sexual harassment were lobbied against the company and key employees, it’s said by some that Ubisoft has not done enough to enact meaningful reform. Back in July, the A Better Ubisoft organization said that the company had failed to meet any of its demands even one year after putting them forward.