Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Songs of Glory is the upcoming three part comic that will serve as a prequel to Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed game, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Following the release of a new trailer for the game which showed off the female version of the playable character, Eivor, it seems that she has also been picked over her male counterpart to feature in the comics.
The comics will be published by Dark Horse in October 2020, but Penguin Random House, who will be publishing a hardcover copy of all three comics together in April 2021, has put out a description which includes the following: “Eivor, warrior and daughter of wise King Styrbjorn…”
The comics will follow her life and adventures before the game, and give more details about her family including her clan, and her brother.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey took a similar route with female hero Kassandra, who was used over the male twin Alexios in the novelisation of the game. This has also come after accusations of directors at Ubisoft sidelining female characters for years, including insisting on having a choice of genders for players to pick from rather than having an exclusively female protagonist. According to messages leaked last week, like Kassandra before her, female Eivor was supposed to be the only option – supported by the fact Eivor is a traditionally female name, but the higher up executives didn’t think the game would sell without a male option also included.
Narrative director Darby McDevvit has said that these claims aren’t ‘wholly accurate’, going on to explain that being able to play both genders of the characters was the idea from the start, but didn’t want to spoil the game.
This comes at a time where Ubisoft as been at the centre of much discussion about work environment in the gaming industry, following not only the reports about reluctance to include women in Assassin’s Creed, but also sexual harassment allegations made against members of staff. Whilst focusing on female Eivor in the prequel is welcome, Ubisoft has a lot more work to do when it comes to creating a work environment and games that support and celebrate their women creators and fans.
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