Ubisoft Quebec, the lead development studio of Assassin’s Creed Red (an open-world RPG set in Feudal Japan), is receiving assistance from Ubisoft Japan and outside cultural consultants to maintain authenticity and sensitivity. Not much is known yet about Assassin’s Creed Red, outside its setting and the fact that it’s part of the Assassin’s Creed Infinity project, and that’s likely so Ubisoft as a whole can focus on the Baghdad-set Assassin’s Creed Mirage.


AC Mirage is set to release in 2023, and while it has not been explicitly stated, it would seem that Assassin’s Creed Red would be the next major title beyond that. Japan is a setting Assassin’s Creed fans have wanted for a long time, and it’s important Ubisoft gets it right. While it remains to be seen exactly how effective this is, it’s a good step for Ubisoft in avoiding “cultural tourism.”

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As reported by Axios, while Assassin’s Creed games have often sought to accurately represent their settings, this was sometimes met with severe resistance by white men in positions of authority. The inclusion of Alexios in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey because “women don’t sell” is proof enough of that. It should be noted that the RPG’s development is also led by Jonathan Dumont, a controversial figure whose role on the project has reportedly seen developers refuse to work on Assassin’s Creed Red. Dumont is white, and it’s unclear exactly how diverse the team working on the game is, outside these consultants.

Several games based on east Asian culture have been criticized for “cultural tourism,” where the culture itself is less nuanced, less fully represent, more reduced in its unique qualities, and more or less made exotic. This is something Assassin’s Creed Red should not do, obviously. However, it would be remiss not to mention that cultural consultants on Assassin’s Creed games are not new. Assassin’s Creed Mirage has reportedly worked with a ton of consultants to make Baghdad and the surrounding culture as accurate as possible, including even the addition of full Arabic voice acting regardless of region.

These consultants have had palpable impacts on games before. For example, Assassin’s Creed 3 originally allowed Connor to scalp his enemies and depicted one cutscene featuring ceremonial masks, but consultants highlighted that the Mohawk people did not scalp enemies and that ceremonial masks like those depicted are something considered private. So, these were removed from the game. Still, it’s important to note that these consultants don’t make final decisions on a game, and any resistance is probably too much.

Assassin’s Creed Red is also essentially a test of company reforms, per Axios, as Ubisoft’s diversity, inclusion, and accessibility team oversees current games in development. How big of a role it plays, as well as various consultants and Ubisoft Japan, remains to be seen.

Assassin’s Creed Red is in development.

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Source: Axios

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