At the beginning of every Assassin's Creed game the player is greeted by the following statement:
This game was designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs.
That is, until now. Starting with the latest entry in the series, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, that statement will be changed to read:
Inspired by historical events and characters, this work of fiction was designed, developed, and produced by a multicultural team of various beliefs, sexual orientations and gender identities.
The revised wording reflects the developer's very conscious effort to respect and represent the diversity among both themselves and the players who spend hours traversing their digital creations. Creative director Marc-Alexis Côté said:
"It felt like when we first wrote that for AC1 it was something that was very inclusive. But I've had the chance to work with more than 12 different writers on Syndicate. At one point, one approached me and said that we were not embracing diversity fully enough."
Thus, Ned Wynert was born. Ned will make history by becoming the franchise's first ever transgendered character, taking a supporting role in the game's narrative.
However, the AC team is wary of Ned becoming defined by his gender, which is the very opposite intention of his inclusion. As such, his gender will have no explicit bearing on the story. As Marc-Alexis Côté noted:
"Inclusiveness is something that's super important for us as a team."
Simply including a transgender character in an AAA mainstream game is a hugely positive step forward, as is the option to play as either a male or female. As we grow to acknowledge the eclectic diversity of our society, it's only right that identities of all kinds are represented in mainstream media.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate is slated for an Oct. 23 launch on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.