Minor spoiler warning for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
New Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Funko Pop! figures have been officially revealed on Twitter. The toys were leaked online yesterday, as reported by GameRant, and were met with a pretty swift negative reaction for not including a female Eivor. Of course, with those being leaks, I withheld judgment on the news until we got some sort of official confirmation.
Now that we have that confirmation, though? Yeah, this is a bad look. The two Valhalla figures, both of which are available for preorder at GameStop, are both of male Eivor. There’s a vanilla version with one axe, and an extra-spicy GameStop Exclusive variant with two (!) axes. A cursory search reveals that these are the only two Pop figures from Valhalla announced and put into production so far.
This choice feels bizarre, to say the least. First off, why release two different Eivor figures if they’re both dudes? Valhalla gives players the choice to pick between masc Eivor or femme Eivor right up front, so it feels strange to not give potential customers that same decision. There are a fair number of players who have no attachment to or interest in the male version whatsoever, so it feels a bit weird to make two of him. Plus, there’s nothing there for Ubisoft to animate, so they can’t break out that old chestnut again.
There’s also the canon issue, which is admittedly minor but still funny to think on. See, if you pick “Let The Animus Decide” for Eivor’s gender at the top of the game, you’ll freely switch between male and female throughout your time in England. However, as Ubisoft stated before the game’s release, female Eivor is the canon choice – a fact which is repeated in the game itself. Male Eivor technically doesn’t exist in the larger AC continuity, meaning that Ubisoft greenlit two Funko Pops of an AU Gary Stu over their actual canon protagonist.
So, why make this decision? Easy: sexism. This was a choice made at an executive level, and at some point, somebody suggested two male Eivor figures and ignored the character many people would spent 100+ hours of their life with. Assassin’s Creed is a franchise that Ubisoft has historically marketed towards men, so maybe this choice is based around that on some level. I don’t know. I don’t know the exact corporate structures of Funko, GameStop, or Ubisoft, but I think it’s fair to say ignoring the canon female character for two figures of the non-canon male character is pretty fucking sexist.
Now, look: was I ever going to actually buy an Assassin’s Creed Funko Pop? No, probably not – unless they make one of Shao Jun, or reissue that Aveline one. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is another example in a long, long series of sexist decisions made around this franchise. Despite this being a franchise that has a very vocal and very visible female fanbase, Ubisoft continues to make decisions that ignore and disrespect that fanbase – even at the risk of going against their own canon.
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Bella Blondeau is a lovable miscreant with a heart of gold… or so she says.
She likes long walks in dingy arcades, loves horror good and bad, and has a passion for anime girls of any and all varieties. Her favorite game is Nier: Automata, because she loves both robots and being sad.
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