HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

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.

Filed Under: assassin's creed, peta, promotional stunts
Companies: ubisoft

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2013 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: What is PETA's thoughts...

    I wonder what they said about Oregon Trail...

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.