The five previously-announced nominees up for the award include “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” “The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset,” “Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire,” “Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire,” and “The Sims Mobile.” However, it took some extra time out to discuss one of the nominations in a separate blog.
In the post, GLAAD points readers to a separate statement surrounding the group’s decision to nominate “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” despite the controversy surrounding the game’s DLC episode Legacy of the First Blade: Shadow Heritage. The DLC’s storyline places Kassandra/Alexios in an unavoidable heterosexual relationship that results in a child for the player character, which is obviously problematic for players role-playing characters outside of heteronormative roles.
“At worst, this sends the harmful message that sexual orientation can be changed at will and that LGBTQ people can choose to conform to heteronormative expectations in spite of their identities. To be clear, this nomination should not be taken as an endorsement of the DLC,” wrote GLAAD’s Blair Durkee, special projects consultant who specializes in gaming.
Durkee noted that, since Ubisoft publicly apologized for its mistakes, GLAAD has since been in contact with the developer to work together and improve future aspects of this particular release and content planned for release at a later date. GLAAD believes that the changes made to the DLC don’t “entirely solve the challenge” but do find them a solid first step.
“Our decision to nominate Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is ultimately rooted in the understanding that progress can sometimes be messy,” wrote Durkee. ” If we want to encourage developers and publishers to continue to make these types of bold moves in the future, we must allow for growth, acknowledge that missteps do occur, and give proper credit where credit is due.”
“Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The GLAAD Media Awards ceremony will be held on Apr. 12, 2019.