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Aiden might not be back for Watch Dogs 2

Tuesday, 17th June 2014 23:44 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Watch Dogs protagonist Aiden – the quintessential gritty white man – is among a handful of characters criticised for their blandness. Ubisoft is taking that criticism on board, and thinking about producing more diverse characters.

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Although Watch Dogs itself seems to be selling strongly, reaction to its characters – especially Aiden – has been mixed, Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot admitted to CVG.

“We knew it would be polarising; some people loved the characters and some didn’t. It was difficult to please everybody with that character,” he said.

“Now, having seen the reaction, we know what we will do next to improve that.”

In fact, Aiden isn’t guaranteed to return for Watch Dogs 2.

“I can’t say because I don’t know actually. We’ll see,” he said.

CVG challenged Guillemot on the common video game protagonist trope of “angry white man”, and Guillemot acknowledged the problem.

“We are working on that. We want to spend more time on the worlds and characters in our games,” he said.

“You will see more and more of this at Ubisoft. We’ll try to be less like we have been in the past with some characters. We’ll try to extend more diversity.”

Hopefully Guillemot is talking about improving Ubisoft’s approach to character building and story-telling, rather than just throwing a few more token “diverse” characters in the mis. While it’d be great to see more women, people of colour and alternate sexualities in mainstream games of course, but it’d also be wonderful to see games treat characters of all kinds as real people rather than one-dimensional stereotypes.

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16 Comments

  1. unacomn

    Good, he can take his Iconic Cap and stick it somewhere not often visited by Iconic Caps.

    #1 3 months ago
  2. Obernox

    Please bury him in cement.

    #2 3 months ago
  3. silverstorm

    Very bland character indeed, with Batvoice included. We need a character like Edward Kenway.

    #3 3 months ago
  4. ddtd

    Thank god. I don’t think having a white protagonist would have even been that much of any issue if the character had been well written and in any way interesting to play.

    #4 3 months ago
  5. fearmonkey

    Aiden could have been a fantastic character, but they didn’t flesh out his story very well, and they didnt make him sympathetic. They were kind of trying to make a Frank Castle meets Adam Jensen type of character, but just wast as interesting.

    I say bring him back though, give him much more a backstory and make him much more interesting the next time. The ending of the game sets him up to be a hero, let him become that, make him more interesting and not as generic.

    After the way it ended, I can’t see him not being the star of the next game, and for heaven’s sake, DO NOT pull a prototype 2 and make him the villain.

    #5 3 months ago
  6. Praglik

    Sadly every single other character in Watch_Dogs was more interesting than Aiden…
    I really liked T-Bone, he would have done a perfect main character. Much more charisma, an interesting background, a nice and different look…
    Clara Lille was cool, but this kind of character is overused (it’s basically the archetype of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

    #6 3 months ago
  7. Brenna Hillier

    I haven’t played Watch Dogs yet, but I sort of feel like most of the lead assassins have been pretty samey for a while. Something bad happens to them, then they just go around doing whatever bizarre things X historical character tells them to do, with a vague overarching plot… I guess that’s the product of having to pack hundreds of missions into a game, though. It doesn’t make for a compelling, character-focused narrative. Not easily, anyway.

    #7 3 months ago
  8. infernalism

    Right, right, right…what can we do to improve this…They didn’t like an angry white man, so…mellow black woman? Everyone in agreement? Good. Meeting adjourned.

    #8 3 months ago
  9. TD_Monstrous69

    To me, Aiden Pierce was slightly less generic than mayo, but calling him Miracle Whip isn’t much of an upgrade. I do hope with future Watch_Dogs games, the protagonist is someone new, with say a different ethnic, or racial background from mine (speaking as an american white guy). Or how about having a female protagonist? Can’t be done you say? I think Crystal Dynamics might want to talk, just keep the Assassin’s Creed team out of the conversation, less they taint the room with the smell of bullshit. I mean, the world of Watch_Dogs is rife with possibilities for many rich stories beyond that of a vengeance tale of an angry white man looking for the people who killed his niece while trying to kill him.

    #9 3 months ago
  10. YoungZer0

    @Brenna Hillier

    But that’s pretty much every triple A Ubisoft game. Same goes for FarCry 3.

    I think the biggest mistake Ubisoft made is beginning the game with Pearce being the Vigilante already. There was no real character progression.

    I mean what motivated him in the first place from going to a thief to a vigilante? The game never explains that. He could’ve just stuck with his revenge, but for some reason he saw the necessity to save others. What was the motivation for that? And why does it have to be such a huge plot? I mean couldn’t it just be about human trafficking?

    I criticized that before, but why exactly don’t we see any sort of message? I mean they had so many topics that they could talk about. Topics that influence our lives, yet there was none of it. What did Aiden do, after he found out that CTOS was spying on normal citizens? Nothing. Why not? What’s with deadsec? Couldn’t they think of anything interesting to tell about them?

    #10 3 months ago
  11. YoungZer0

    @TD_Monstrous69

    So instead of having an angry white man, we’ll have an angry white woman? The problem is not the gender, it’s the writing. And if I was Ubisoft, I’d avoid female protagonists, less they want to anger the feminist crowd again.

    #11 3 months ago
  12. Matthew_Greg

    @YoungZer0 I think that the reason for him chosing to also send evil guys behind bars or otherwise neutralizing them was the pasivitiy of government. He simly wanted to show them that they indeed are not untouchable. He even said it in the trailer. “You think you’re untouchable, i’m here to shatter your illusions.” Those guy’s buisness was based on hurting people and he wanted to stop that.

    #12 3 months ago
  13. Gheritt White

    The should make the series’ next protagonist an actual dog.

    #13 3 months ago
  14. Rosseu

    Even the annoying pewdiepie would make a better protagonist than Aiden.

    #14 3 months ago
  15. Dimaco

    I tried to get into watchdogs, I was positive about that, but it’s been a big letdown for me! Never felt any real interest in the story/protagonist, and after a few hours of the campaign I just quit. Controls also felt kinda slow/unresponsive (didn’t like the driving model at all)… So I guess it’ll take more than just scraping Aiden to buy me back…

    #15 3 months ago
  16. redwood

    correction “some people liked him, most people hated him” and yeah that cap is stupid.

    #16 3 months ago

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