After the vitriol aimed at Assassin's Creed Shadow's Yasuke, Ubisoft's CEO denounces "hateful acts" toward devs

Assassin's Creed Shadows cinematic screenshot
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Following the vitriol aimed at Assassin's Creed Shadows in recent weeks, Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot has denounced the "malicious and personal online attacks" directed at the publisher's developers.

Let's do an Animus-style rewind to catch up first. Assassin's Creed fans have clamoured for a stealthy stabathon set entirely in Feudal Japan ever since the series' early days, and this year's upcoming Assassin's Creed Shadows is finally doing just that. But what should be an uncontroversially exciting release for AC fans has been somewhat soured thanks to backlash around one of the game's dual protagonists, history's first black samurai Yasuke.

Some people expressed outrage at what they perceived to be a historical slip-up in a video game series featuring mythological creatures and god-aliens. Others had more unpleasant opinions about the game's co-lead, with even Elon Musk tweeting that "DEI kills art" - DEI referring to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Ubisoft executive producer Marc-Alexis Côté responded to say that such comments were "feeding hatred." Now, Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot has also chimed in. 

"One thing I am concerned about right now is the malicious and personal online attacks that have been directed at some of our team members and partners," Guillemot said in an interview on the company's blog. "I want to make it clear that we, at Ubisoft, condemn these hateful acts in the strongest possible terms, and I encourage the rest of the industry and players to denounce them, too. I am proud to support the amazing work of our teams and partners, and I will always trust in their creative choices. We should all celebrate the hard work and talent that goes into making videogames."

Guillemot stops short of directly name dropping Assassin's Creed Shadows, and perhaps he's generally referring to the growing online toxicity swirling around on the internet, but the implication is certainly there.

Whether you prefer Naoe’s stealthier routes or Yasuke’s hefty weapons, Assassin’s Creed Shadows will let us play through most of the game as one character since it’s not “strong-arming anyone to switch back.”

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.