If a company were to invest the money and time into creating a new version of a previously-released cinematic trailer highlighting the female version of its protagonist, you’d think that would be a big promotional point in its ongoing marketing campaign. But not for Ubisoft, apparently. The company released a new version of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s announcement trailer on Friday, which is mostly the same as the one that debuted at the end of April, but with one major distinction: it features the female version of Eivor rather than the male one.
While this is dope in premise, the actual pushing this out into the world was questionable, as you’d have expected it to have at least been a blip on the industry’s radar, but Ubisoft more or less obscured the thing behind a strange title, calling it “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Official Soundtrack Cinematic Trailer” rather than anything that indicated what the most distinguishing factor was: spotlighting a woman protagonist who was previously shown for the first time in a collector’s edition statue before she was seen rendered in-game or in a cinematic. Compared to the original, male Eivor-starring version, which was clearly called the “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Cinematic World Premiere Trailer.” This wasn’t helped by the fact that the trailer was apparently just dumped onto Ubisoft’s YouTube channel late on a Friday, when a majority of media is checking out for the weekend.
A byproduct of the weird way Ubisoft decided to go about this is that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s soundtrack (specifically the “The Ravens Saga” EP), which the trailer is ostensibly meant to promote, also was pushed to streaming services with little fanfare.
Here’s the trailer with lady Eivor in action:
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Given recent news about Ubisoft’s handling of female protagonists within the Assassin’s Creed series, this seems like a continuation of the company’s well-documented issues. Both of the last two Assassin’s Creed games, including Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Origins were, at some point in development, meant to have female protagonists exclusively. These ideas were killed by upper management in favor of male protagonists in the case of Origins and the choice between either Kassandra or Alexius in Odyssey. In the case of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, which also featured two playable characters, the male brother Jacob was given a significantly larger role both in-game and in its marketing, with his sister Evie being relegated to a smaller role, and even being pushed out of the forefront of the game’s boxart in favor of her brother.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 17. A PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X version is also coming out, but as those systems don’t have a release date yet, just when the game will come to those platforms is unclear at this point. Both consoles are slated for a “holiday 2020” launch, so it stands to reason it will be near the same date.