PETA has targeted Ubisoft over its “disgraceful” use of whaling in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.
Matt Bruce of PETA’s International Grassroots Campaigns told Polygon, “There are so many creative minds at Ubisoft that are involved with the Assassin’s Creed series, that we find it really disappointing that they feel the need to glorify whaling.”
Bruce added, “PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals, not games that promote hurting and killing them.”
PETA says whaling is a barbaric practice, and using it in Assassin’s Creed 4 trivializes the suffering that whales endure. Bruce said that if the game depicted the horror and cruelty of whaling, it would be a different story.
“In Assassin’s Creed 4, you get ahead by killing,” he said. “Joe Shmoe who plays this game in his mother’s basement in the safety and comfort of his home will feel a sense of accomplishment by killing this whale.”
“Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it’s disgraceful for any game to glorify it. PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.”
Ubisoft quickly responded to PETA’s complaint about the whaling feature, saying that the company is in no way glorifying the killing of whales. In an email to Polygon, Ubisoft’s senior PR manager Stone Chin said:
“History is our playground in Assassin’s Creed. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is a work of fiction that depicts the real events during the golden era of pirates. We do not condone illegal whaling, just as we don’t condone a pirate lifestyle of poor hygiene, plundering, hijacking ships, and over-the legal-limit drunken debauchery.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Ubisoft officially unveiled Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag Monday after being beat to the punch by a series of leaks last weekend. The latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise allows players to control a pirate named Edward Kenway, who is the grandfather of the Assassin’s Creed 3 protagonist, Connor.
As is to be expected from a game that features pirates, players will find themselves managing a crew with whom Kenway needs to keep a healthy relationship. If Kenway fails to maintain these relationships, the crew will abandon ship. Players will also find themselves engaged in naval battles and exploring the ocean for buried treasure.
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is supposedly set to be released on October 29, 2013, almost exactly a year after Assassin’s Creed 3 was released.
What do you think of Ubisoft adding whaling to Assassin’s Creed 4? Do you agree with PETA that it glorifies killing whales?