I came across this "rant" (spoilers) & I wanted to say thank you @assassinscreed & @ubisoft, thank you for ruining a great game for me. For me as a lesbian buying the dlc isn't an option anymore- no, I'll sell the game. You advertised the game differently. I'm disappointed. pic.twitter.com/agU27VSvN3— Heike (@HeikeTweets) January 15, 2019
Read the news about the new Assassins Creed DLC. While I’m very familiar with the “oh shit, we wrote ourselves into a corner” thing, it still saddens me this isn’t something they tried harder to work around. 😠— David Gaider (@davidgaider) January 15, 2019
The latest Assassins Creed video game garnered kudos for not only allowing players to pick between playing as a man or a woman (significant considering some of the messes this particular franchise has run into concerning playable female protagonists) but for also giving the player the freedom to choose who they want to romance.
Some of the developers at Ubisoft for the game talked about it.
Melissa MacCoubrey, narrative director of the game: “We knew that if we were making a game about choice, that philosophy had to permeate throughout the entire experience and not just gameplay. Having same-sex partners is part of that ability to play your own odyssey, and it was something we knew we wanted.”
Jonathan Dumont, creative director of Ubisoft: “Ancient Greece was a setting that lended itself to same-sex romance, so to be honest it just felt natural [...] We tried to approach it that way. We have a pretty big bank of voices but honestly we did not look at it from the romantic angle but more the point of view of: Is that an interesting character?
"Since the story is choice-driven, we never force players in romantic situations they might not be comfortable with. Players decide if they want to engage with characters romantically. I think this allows everybody to build the relationships they want, which I feel respects everybody’s roleplay style and desires.”
But in the second episode of the DLC, all that choice gets taken out of your hands. [Spoiler (click to open)]No matter how you played the game, (aka only playing Alexios as a gay man, Kassandra as a lesbian, being a childfree loner, or just continually rejecting the recurring NPC [Neema if you play as Alexios, and Natakas if you play as Kassandra]), the ending of the game just disregards all of that and shows how you've settled down with that NPC and had a kid together.
And as an extra kick, the DLC ending trophy is titled "Growing Up".
When contacted, Ubisoft responded with the following statement: “We strive to give players choice whenever possible in Odyssey and apologize to those surprised by the events in this episode, Without spoiling it, you will engage in an important relationship as part of a set story. The motivation behind this relationship is yours to explore in game and will be reflected in your character’s story arc. There is one episode left in Legacy of the First Blade which will tie your character’s actions together.”
Sidenote that the DLC is handled by a different studio as noted by MacCoubrey in an interview with Eurogamer about the presence of the NPC and their parent, Darius.