On Thursday, Ubisoft announced it will alter the second story expansion for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey after fans expressed outrage that it forced the game’s romantically freewheeling protagonists into straight marriages and to bear children.
Part of the fun in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, the latest installment in Ubisoft’s murder-sandbox franchise, came from the player’s ability to make meaningful choices regarding the heroes Kassandra and Alexios. Notably, the game was romantically flexible, allowing players to have the heroes sleep with men, women, both, or neither.
Shadow Heritage, the second installment of downloadable content (DLC) released on January 15, ends with the hero settling down and starting a family with a member of the opposite sex. No matter what choices the player makes, they end up married and with child. Players earned an achievement called “Growing Up,” implying that the pansexual, or homosexual, heroes simply grew out of it. Fans complained, pointing out that the ending went against many of their choices and Ubisoft’s earlier promises about the player being able to define their sexuality.
“It’s clear that we missed the mark,” Odyssey creative director Jonathan Dumont said in a recent Ubisoft forum post. Now, Ubisoft says it will patch the DLC to change the name of the achievement, and tweak dialogue and a cutscene.
“We are making changes to a cutscene and some dialogue in Shadow Heritage to better reflect the nature of the relationship for players selecting a non-romantic storyline,” an Ubisoft community manager wrote in a forum post on Thursday. “These changes, along with renaming a trophy/achievement, are being made now and will be implemented in an upcoming patch.”
It’s unclear what these changes will consist of, or if they will address player concerns over being forced into a straight marriage. Ubisoft says it is also looking at the next installment of DLC in light of the controversy.
“We’ve also been carefully looking at the next episode, Bloodline, to ensure the paths that players experience mirror the choices they make in the game,” the community manager wrote.
Ubisoft spokespeople were not immediately available to comment.
On Friday, GLAAD, an organization that monitors LGBTQ representation in media, nominated Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for a GLAAD Media Award. In a blog post, GLAAD noted that the nomination should not be seen as endorsement of the DLC but applauded Ubisoft’s willingness to make changes.
“The forthcoming updates to Shadow Heritage announced by Ubisoft just yesterday are a positive step, and we applaud them for working to mitigate the damage,” the blog post states. “The changes do not entirely solve the challenge, but we believe those changes are a good faith effort and a solid first step.”
Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.