Ubisoft found itself at the center of a controversy over the inclusion of a rather linear and pointed storyline in its most recent DLC outing for Assassin's Creed. The issue came from a plot decision that was made by the company for the DLC that removed player agency, and now the director had to attempt to quell outrage by making a statement about the content.
In a thread over on the Ubisoft forums marked with [SPOILERS] because it reveals an outcome to the story relating to the protagonists Kassandra and Alexios, the community manager posted a message on behalf of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey creative director Jonathan Dumont stated...
Our goal was to let players choose between a utilitarian view of ensuring your bloodline lived on or forming a romantic relationship. We attempted to distinguish between the two but could have done this more carefully as we were walking a narrow line between role-play choices and story, and the clarity and motivation for this decision was poorly executed.
So for context, what Dumont is referring to is that within the latest DLC outing, Kassandra or Alexios have a child with either the son or daughter of Darius, the first of the Assassins. Neither of the characters has a choice in having a child. Which is a problem for many players that took paths in the game that didn't lend themselves to such an outcome.
The characters of Kassandra and Alexios have access to many optional romances featured throughout the base game. In each case, same-sex romances are possible and so the player frustration comes largely from those who viewed their characters as gay, their own romantic choices were disregarded in Ubisoft's decision to force the characters into a relationship that some players may not have wanted them to be a part of.
Some gamers were okay with the idea that the main protagonists had to carry on the lineage of the Assassins in order for it to eventually make sense for the previous games to link up to the story involving Desmond being a descendant of the Assassins, but not everyone liked the concept of Kassandra getting pregnant, which created more controversy for Ubisoft.
However, Dumont says that the team has been reading the feedback and understand why people have become so passionate over the subject matter, stating...
We have read your responses online and taken them to heart. This has been a learning experience for us. Understanding how attached you feel to your Kassandra and your Alexios is humbling and knowing we let you down is not something we take lightly. We'll work to do better and make sure the element of player choice in Assassin's Creed Odyssey carries through our DLC content so you can stay true to the character you have embodied throughout.
So it doesn't sound like this particular story will be retconned, and your Kassandra or Alexios will be stuck with the kid. However, it doesn't mean that Ubisoft can't make it where maybe in a future DLC you can go back to an old flame that you romanced during Assassin's Creed: Odyssey's main campaign?
Obviously, there are going to have to be some concessions made when a game has an actual linear story but the developers decide to give players choices in how the story unfolds for the characters. In this particular case, it seems as if things kind of backfired for Ubisoft, but we'll see what happens in the upcoming third installment of DLC, in order to find out if the problems people had can be salvaged in any way.