PETA Goes After Assassin's Creed For Its Depiction Of Whaling; Ubisoft Responds With A Heaping Dose Of Sarcasm

from the it-doesn't-get-much-lower-than-being-mocked-by-Ubisoft dept

I'm not sure why it is that PETA feels it needs to pick fights with video games, but it continues to do so even after its last couple of efforts (vs. Pokemon [catch ALL the fake animals!] and Cooking Mama [dead animals for dinner!]) have backfired spectacularly. Its latest target is none other than the latest Assassin's Creed game, which, at this point, exists only as a trailer.


There's plenty of assassinating and plundering on the way, it would appear, but none of that bothers PETA. Nope, it's the fake killing of fake whales that has the group back in full statement-issuing pique. Here's what it had to say about the deadly digital whaling:

Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it's disgraceful for any game to glorify it. PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.
I don't know which intern gets handed instructions to "write something angry" about video game animal abuse, but I can only imagine they're fairly resentful of the interns that get handed plum assignments to write about actual, real-world, horrific animal abuse. Statements like these, directed at fiction, make me believe there's some sort of "DAYS SINCE LAST OUTRAGE" board posted at the PETA office, and heads (HUMAN ONLY) start rolling if it passes single digits.

Ubisoft obviously felt this statement deserved a response, and handled it with all the dignity it could muster while still leaving room for plenty of withering, bone-dry sarcasm.
"History is our playground in Assassin's Creed," Ubisoft said in a statement to the publication. "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a work of fiction that depicts the real events during the Golden Era of Pirates. We do not condone illegal whaling, just as we don't condone a pirate lifestyle of poor hygiene, plundering, hijacking ships, and over-the-legal-limit drunken debauchery."

"And even if the game does glorify whaling — as it certainly glorifies the life of a pirate — I don't think it will lead to a generation of gamers who head to the Caribbean to hunt down humpbacks. Just as I don't think anyone who played the previous Assassin's Creed games have found employment as a murderer for hire."
Point: Ubisoft. Although honestly, scoring a point against manufactured outrage from one of the most prolific outrage manufacturers on the planet is a bit like putting one into your own net, in terms of effort. Still, the statement deserved a response, because (he said, mixing sports metaphors like a mad scientist with a handful of smoking flasks and beakers) if PETA's going to hang one directly over the plate, it seems a shame to pass up an opportunity to send it rocketing into the upper deck.

PETA could be a useful contributor to society if it would just focus on actual, heinous animal abuse rather than attaching bits of crazy to whatever happens to fall within miles of its actual purview. But it looks like it would much rather continue to cement its reputation as an "out there" special interest group only slightly more credible than "birthers" or conspiracy theorists utilizing numerology to detail the connection between gold prices, the Illuminati and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.



Reader Comments (rss)

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 4:27am

    Ubisoft could have come out in a high moral ground by adding a virtual Sea Shepperd into the game to glorify activism. With a slashed pokeball (in blood-red ink) painted in its hull just to remind people of their last successful activism attempt at Pokemons. /s

     

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    Lord Binky, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 5:47am

    Paradoxical!

    "Just as I don't think anyone who played the previous Assassin's Creed games have found employment as a murderer for hire."

    If you knew anyone that found employment as a murderer for hire, you would have to say that. Otherwise you wouldn't be saying anything at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 5:49am

    If you can make Ubisoft look good, you know you're doing something wrong.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    I think PETA is on to something here..

    Why don't we have a game where instead of the Animals being hunted and killed the members of PETA are instead hunted and killed by the Animals..

    I'd buy that!


    PS: Meat is murder... tasty tasty murder - brought to you by People Eating Tasty Animals!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 5:55am

    PETA actually IS the connection between gold prices, the Illuminati and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...

     

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    Stropp, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 5:56am

    So, since ol' Jack Thompson has quit gunnin' for the games industry and hung up his six shooters of crazy, it looks like PETA is putting on the black clown hat and floppy over-sized cowboy boots to take his place.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:04am

    I want to see a Game where I can be a Tiger or Lion and I can hunt down PETA Members.I could sink my big Animal Teeth into warm juicy PETA Flesh.The Gourmet of Meat-Stock !!!

    Must also throw some naked hot PETA Women in Cages.Be the Animal who solves the Puzzle of Opening up the Cage Doors for the sweet Treats within.

    PETA Hunting Fun !
    Coming Soon to your PC,Playstation, and XBOX May 2013

     

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      dudhit (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 5:15pm

      Re:

      what a co-incidence, last night i was feeling kinda bad as I slaughtered turtles in "thousand needles". I had no choice, i needed the meat. I've also been thinking about starting a save the savannah prowlers campaign. i'm killing harmless animals in world of warcraft all the time, shame blizzard shame.
      Thankfully I can switch roles and kill bi-peds too in animal form. so I'll take that back in the interests of balance.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:05am

    As I sit here eating my hamburger wrapped in bacon and veal topped in a nice baby seal sauce I cannot... Shit forgot what I was going to say.

     

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    IronM@sk, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:20am

    PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:34am

      Re: PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

      Holy balls, they are just LOADS of crazy, aren't they?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:57am

        Re: Re: PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

        After a certain point you have to realize even crazy people have intelligence, they just analyze the world differently than everyone else.

        PETA on the other hand is just outright moronic.

         

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        Ninja (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:06am

        Re: Re: PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

        That's amusing, there's an achievement in World of Warcraft called "D.E.T.A. little P.I.T.A." or something. It's obtained after doing a series of quests that involve killing animal poachers and collecting their ears and lovely things like that (and if you kill an animal you get soaked on their blood and can't go near the DETA camp without being attacked by angry animal lovers unless you either wait enough for the blood to go away or go into the water to wash the blood). I find this to be rather ironic and amusing... And if Blizz intended that as an irony then it's one epic win.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re: PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

        It tempers the crazy a bit to see that it's labeled as a "PETA Parody" and the blog entry makes it clear that it's a publicity stunt to get people to think about their issues.

        That said, yes, they are loads crazy and prove it daily.

         

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      Ninja (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:02am

      Re: PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

      That sediments the idea in my head that they are actually a group of comedians trolling us all.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:18am

        Re: Re: PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

        reverse engineering the Streisand effect? you might be on to something there. I, for one, never hear of PETA anymore unless the crazy gets out.

         

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      Togashi (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 10:42am

      Re: PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

      Wait wait wait...

      They call their blog "The PETA Files"?! Are they not aware of a) how most people pronounce their organization's acronym and b) the British pronunciation of "pedophile"?

       

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        Niall (profile), Mar 13th, 2013 @ 7:13am

        Re: Re: PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

        Well, it's not *our* fault the Americans can't speak or spell correctly... ;)

         

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    John Doe, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    Fun with PETA

    Their headquarters is on the water in Norfolk Virginia and every year there is a fishing tournament held out in front of them. Gotta love it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:50am

    At least when getting mad at Pokemon they could point to animal abuse (2 animals fighting each other), but PETA couldn't even go after the correct argument there.

     

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    zbmott, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:52am

    debauchery

    Well, as long as Ubisoft does support equal-to-or-under-the-legal-limit drunken debauchery...

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 6:58am

    PETA - Grain Fed feed stock, for animals.

     

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    Rob, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:01am

    Has anyone ever met a peta person? There is no doubt most of them are complete nuts.

     

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    Lurker Keith, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:04am

    Where's my mixed metaphor!?

    Still, the statement deserved a response, because (he said, mixing sports metaphors like a mad scientist with a handful of smoking flasks and beakers) if PETA's going to hang one directly over the plate, it seems a shame to pass up an opportunity to send it rocketing into the upper deck.
    Where is the mixed Metaphor? First, you talk correctly about a [mad] scientist in the set up, then you use 2 Baseball references. I've seen plenty of balls left hanging over the plate rocketed into an upperdeck. That's more or less all Mark McGwire did.

     

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    Berenerd (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:07am

    What is PETA's thoughts...

    ...Big Game hunter and Duck Hunt?

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:21am

    "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a work of fiction that depicts the real events during the Golden Era of Pirates."

    I thought today was the Golden Era of Pirates?

     

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    Jeremy, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    PETA is worse than an outrage machine.

    They're basically a front for animal-rights terrorists, and no I'm not using tired hyperbole by saying that. Members of their organization have been linked to physical intimidation and acts against animal researchers worthy of 1930s mafia. Their manufactured outrage at a video game is all the more hilarious when you consider that fake-killing whales is far more humane than becoming a loyal member of PETA (where actual crime has been condoned).

     

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    Kate, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    PETA

    I'm a strict vegan, tree-hugging hippie, and I hang my head in shame everytime PETA opens its mouth.

     

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    Roman, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:33am

    Of course

    I should move and become a whaling pirate just to spite PETA.

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    this about sums it up :

    "PETA could be a useful contributor to society if it would just focus on actual, heinous animal abuse rather than attaching bits of crazy to whatever happens to fall within miles of its actual purview. "

    nailhead, meet hammer...

    i seriously think that PETA (i pronounce it pet-a, not pete-a, 'cause i don't have petes, i have pets...) DOES MORE HARM to their (our) cause more than good...
    i'm a treehugger, i love critters, i can't stand peta-rds, THEY make me ashamed to be an animal-lover...

    could they actually be a false flag op by the beef council or sumpin' ? ? ?

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Ubisoft could always donate a brazillion-million virtual dollars to aid all the digital whales being slaughtered. While they are at it, maybe they can clean up some digital oil spills, free digital Willy, and keep those digital glaciers from melting.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Ubisoft could always donate a brazillion-million virtual dollars to aid all the digital whales being slaughtered. While they are at it, maybe they can clean up some digital oil spills, free digital Willy, and keep those digital glaciers from melting.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 9:07am

    People Eating Tasty Animals

    PETA has, for as long as I remember, been so good at being a parody of themselves that it renders them almost immune to parody. Almost like that's their plan.

     

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    One Nemesis (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    PETA?

    And I always thought that stood for

    PEOPLE EATING TASTY ANIMALS

    (The writer does not support killing whales or maliciously harming animals. However, I do support helping humans

     

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    CK20XX, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 9:21am

    What? Seriously? There was just an Onion-esque story about this too.

    PETA Says Virtual Whaling in Assassinís Creed 4 is a Gateway Drug That Will Lead to Actual Whaling
    http://www.p4rgaming.com/?p=1453

     

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    vastrightwing, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Here's a tag line for you Ubisoft

    "No animal testing was used in this game. No animals were harmed". Put it prominently on the promotional materials. You're welcome. Please use it with my permission.

     

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      Glaze (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 10:52am

      Re: Here's a tag line for you Ubisoft

      You either forgot your sarcmark or you were serious... and if you were serious it shouldn't have to be said for a VIDEO GAME.

       

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    Brent (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 11:11am

    hmm, i didn't think there was going to be another one based on the last one. I thought i read that in several articles about how AC3 was the ending of the series.. Granted i found it hard to believe at the time b/c any additional titles would make so much money.. maybe they'll fix the terrible end of 3?!?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Of course you DO realize that Ubisoft paid PETA a bucketload of money to generate this publicity right?

    PETA is a 100% fake shell organization and exists solely to provide cheap/free advertising to anyone with cold hard cash.....

     

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    ShellMG, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Someday the human sharks will convince the REAL sharks PETA has been jumping to file a lawsuit. Harassment, mental stress, damages, the works.

     

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    Anonymous Douche, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Which intern wrote this garbage article?

     

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    Dat, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Q: How many PETA members does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: None. PETA can't change anything.

     

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    SlightlierDoor, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    wut

    So apparently they didn't pay attention to Dishonored at all. because half the game was about whaling and using whale oil to fuel stuff. i find it extremely funny how randomly they choose this shit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 3:49pm

    Ubisoft should produce a whaling game now out of sheer spite. It hasn't been done to my knowledge, so why not?

     

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    Pseudonym, Mar 12th, 2013 @ 9:28pm

    They have a point. I've played the other games, and it's given me strong urges to liberate the Holy Land from the Saracens and open a brothel in Italy.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 9:29pm

    Is this the
    "We don't like meat,
    but we sure like the bone"
    PETA?

    That is all I have ever got out of the couple of ads of theirs that I have seen.

    Save a whale, exploit a woman. Right Peta?

     

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    special-interesting (profile), Mar 13th, 2013 @ 12:54am

    PETA... is actually hard to comment on in the sense that they don't make the sense they did at their inception. Another great organization hijacked by radical idiots.

    Have to admit; once a wildly radical group reaches some level of damage it blurs in my mind. Cannot even distinguish PETA from MADD as both seem hijacked by an internal desire to force some specific Utopian ideal on the public at large. As much as I love animals they don't (to me) represent any ideal or standard that distinguishes their effort.

    The PETA effort seems to only remind me that life is hard, horrible and it is pointless to hammer anyone who is undergoing such reality. PETA to me is like the DEA of the animal world. Despite the wonderful stories expounded upon in the promotion adverts what good do they do? In reality they bust up animal owners undergoing sever economic trauma or family crisis. Do they help these people? No. They use them ruthlessly for promotion of their intervention crusade.

    If PETA could say that these same owners subjected to their militaristic actions had refused a grant from them to actually help the animals themselves... I would be more sympathetic to their efforts. Considering the economic expense of each intervention it would surly be a potential lowest cost solution.

    To point; they want to attack digital whaling? Because these people have no voice with me... so what? A group with no credibility has no truck with me. I'd rather walk through a sludge basin than deal with such tripe.

    -washes feet-

     

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    mike, Mar 13th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    from a marketing perspective, this makes at least a bit of sense (maybe more so if PETA we're being a bit tongue in cheek themselves). Piggy back off of high profile game releases and introduce PETA to a new generation...

     

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    toodd, Mar 13th, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Screw PETA! More real whale hunting!

     

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    Dont worry about it, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:08am

     

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    AbbaDabba, Apr 19th, 2013 @ 11:35am

    Why?

    You ask why do they pick fights with video games? The left must push their propaganda lies on everyone all the time so it to become true. Otherwise, they couldn't raise money from yelling 'the sky is falling', would have to perform real work to earn a living and that would suck beyond belief. Why work when you can be Chicken Little and have all the dupes pay for your extravagent lifestyle?

     

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