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- Assassin's Creed Odyssey
In modern big-budget game development, data is king. If you’re so kind as to check the option to share bits of gameplay with the developer, you’re contributing to their overall knowledge and future game decisions. For example, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey made a big deal about its two playable characters, one of each gender. You had the hammier Alexios and the serious Kassandra. In an interview from this month’s edition of Game Informer, Ubisoft Quebec Game Director Scott Phillips revealed that two-thirds of players had gone for Alexios over his female counterpart.
“The interesting thing is that, during playtests, it was pretty much 50/50.” The developers had initially assumed that players would lean more towards Kassandra after those even playtest results. However, the final data provided a different result. Phillips also commented on the other decisions throughout Odyssey. “The idea of choice being key to our game shows really well in that even we are surprised by some of the choices (players) ended up making.”
The rest of the interview delves into several aspects of the game. It brings up the controversial XP boosts and how the game was designed without those in mind. It also talks of the developer’s attempts to make Assassin’s Creed more of an RPG. For example, romance options proved to be a challenge in Odyssey, but improvements are in the works for future titles.
Speaking of the future of the series, it’s more than likely that future Assassin’s Creed titles will also see a choice of gender in their playable characters. Even if Alexios has proven to be more popular, perhaps the developers can look beyond male and female into what the characters themselves represent. Some of the best games in the series have had a much lighter tone, acknowledging how goofy Ubisoft’s time travel tourism is at its core. It’s great to have the option, but the Creed is more at home when it leans into its own universe and shares that it’s in on the joke.