Controversy erupts over ‘Assassin's Creed Shadows’ protagonist


Upcoming video game "Assassin's Creed Shadows" has ignited controversy over its portrayal of Yasuke, a historical African samurai, amid concerns about cultural representation and historical accuracy.

Key points:

  • Some Asian Americans expressed concern online about representation in the new game, criticizing the industry's history of sidelining Asian male characters and stressing the importance of proper representation.

  • Other critics argued that the game's depiction may not fully honor Yasuke's true narrative, sparking a broader debate on the responsibilities of game developers in representing historical figures.

The details:

  • On Wednesday, Ubisoft released the official trailer of “Assassin's Creed Shadows," leading to some fans voicing their disapproval at the lack of a Japanese male lead in a story set in feudal Japan.

  • "'I'm Asian, and Ubisoft decided to erase me and replace me in a game about my own country.' Isn't that what they would say if they made Assassin's Creed Shadows a white dude? Why are they okay with it when they picked a black dude?" wrote Red 5 Studios founder Mark Kern in an X post with over 19,000 likes.

  • “Assassin’s Creed being based in Japan and then NOT using a Japanese male protagonist is stupid,” said a Black fan on X. “We know exactly why they’re using Yasuke (THE MESSAGE) and it’s annoying. It would be as dumb as having it based in Africa and deciding to use a white male protagonist.”

  • Yasuke was reportedly a real-life samurai during the 16th century, believed to have been of African origin. He is regarded as the first foreigner to receive the title of warrior in Japan and served as the muse for the Netflix anime "Yasuke." He became a retainer to Oda Nobunaga, one of Japan's most powerful feudal lords.

  • In a press release, Ubisoft said that creators decided to include Yasuke in the game for his intriguing and open-ended story, stating that he offers a unique perspective on the period that allows players to discover Japan alongside him.


Trending on NextShark: Seattle museum closes as staffers walk out over controversial language in anti-hate exhibit

Download the NextShark App:

Want to keep up to date on Asian American News? Download the NextShark App today!