New Assassin’s Creed Game Sparks Outrage, Historical Samurai Tale Meets Modern Controversy

With its rich history of blending real historical events with engaging fictional gameplay, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has captivated millions. However, the latest installment, Assassin’s Creed Shadows, scheduled for release on November 15, 2024, has already stirred more controversy than anticipation. The game, set in feudal-era Japan, introduced a cinematic trailer that, despite its high production quality, has become the most disliked trailer in the series’ history.

New Assassin's Creed Game Sparks Outrage: Historical Samurai Tale Meets Modern Controversy
Assassin’s Creed: Modern Controversy

The Trailer That Divided Fans

The trailer, which was unveiled last week, features a narrative set in Japan but has been criticized for what some fans describe as ‘historical inaccuracies’ and for being overly ‘woke’. The announcement video on Ubisoft’s official YouTube channel has amassed over 586,000 dislikes compared to 276,000 likes, signaling a significant discord among the fanbase. The dissatisfaction didn’t end on Ubisoft’s platform; similar sentiments echoed across other channels, including the official PlayStation YouTube channel, which also saw a disparity in likes to dislikes.

New Assassin's Creed Game Sparks Outrage: Historical Samurai Tale Meets Modern Controversy
Historical Game Meets Outrage

This review bombing signifies a deep-rooted conflict within the community about the direction of the franchise, especially concerning its new protagonist, Yasuke, a character inspired by a historical African samurai who served under the Japanese warlord Nobunaga Oda.

The Controversy Over Yasuke: Historical Inaccuracy or Cultural Exploration?

The main bone of contention for many players is the inclusion of Yasuke, a Black samurai, as the protagonist. Critics argue that his representation is not only scarce in historical texts but that his prominent role in the game does not reflect the historical setting of Japan faithfully. This sentiment has sparked intense debates across social media platforms, with a segment of the community expressing displeasure towards Ubisoft’s creative choices.

New Assassin's Creed Game Sparks Outrage: Historical Samurai Tale Meets Modern Controversy
Ubisoft’s Controversial Samurai Tale

Despite these controversies, it’s essential to recognize that Yasuke’s existence in Japan during the feudal era is a documented fact, although details about his life remain sparse. Ubisoft’s decision to feature Yasuke can be seen as an attempt to explore less represented narratives in mainstream gaming, an approach that has been both celebrated and criticized in the past.

Potential Impact on Sales and Fan Reception

The backlash has raised concerns about the potential impact on the game’s success upon its release. Previous entries in the Assassin’s Creed series have generally been well-received, but the intense negative reception to the trailer could translate into lower initial sales and a skeptical audience. How Ubisoft addresses these criticisms in the lead-up to the game’s launch could be crucial in swaying public opinion and ensuring the game’s commercial success.

New Assassin's Creed Game Sparks Outrage: Historical Samurai Tale Meets Modern Controversy
Samurai History Sparks Outrage

As Assassin’s Creed Shadows nears its release date, all eyes will be on Ubisoft to navigate this controversy. Will they make adjustments in response to fan feedback, or will they stay the course, hoping that the game’s content will speak for itself? Either way, the discussion around Assassin’s Creed Shadows underscores a broader conversation about diversity and historical representation in video games, a topic that continues to evolve as the industry grows.

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