If you have been following news around Ubisoft, you know there’s a lot going on about the company’s past and present. Lots of allegations have been levied at the developer, as well as many high profile people stepping down. On the games side of things, it’s also been alleged that Ubisoft leads minimized and/or cut out female protagonists, specifically in the case of Assassin’s CreedSyndicate, Origins, and Odyssey. It seems there were also murmurs this happened with the latest game in the franchise, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. But the game’s Narrative Director claims this isn’t the case.
On the game’s official Reddit, Darby McDevitt disputed the claim that Eivor was originally only meant to be female, saying that the intention was always to have the main character have an option for male or female. He seems to also imply there’s a specific narrative reason for this that will make sense, though strays away from specifics (to also be clear, the report referenced above came from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, so McDevitt is not addressing that. It’s unclear exactly where the claim comes from that this was also the case for Valhalla).
“I will say this once: this is not wholly accurate.
“And I will repeat what I have always said. ACV’s story was conceived from the beginning with both female and male in mind. When you play the game you will understand that there is no way the male could have been added at the last minute, or whatever version of this story you have heard.
“Obviously there is more nuance to all this, but to go deeper would spoil lots of the mysteries at the heart of the game. But understand this, that we started ACV knowing full well that Ubi wanted to give players the ability to select characters, and we worked hard to make sure that it honored our lore.”
You can see the female Eivor showcased in the latest trailer for the game, for reference. Of course, with everything happening with Ubisoft, who really knows what’s going on- but either way, when Valhalla launches in November, you’ll have the option to play as either version of Eivor.
We actually got a chance to sit down with McDevitt ourselves earlier this month to chat about the game, and you can read the whole interview through here.