In an update to the official Assassins Creed facebook page, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag publisher Ubisoft made sure to point out that while the Assassins Creed series depicts real events, they do not suggest people adopt the pirate lifestyle for fun and profit.
In particular, they want it noted that they do not support whaling in any way, shape or form, in response to animal activist group PETA, who stated they thought the fact you could harpoon whales in the game was "disgraceful."
This is what Ubisoft had to say:
History is our playground in Assassin’s Creed. 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.
This is personally saddening, as my pirate ship inspired by the game was, in fact, almost complete, and the whaling harpoon I ordered should arrive tomorrow. I guess I'll just have to stick to binge-gaming, then.
'Sup world! I'm an avid gamer, modder and game developer living in Melbourne, Australia with my partner and two cats. As is law here at Player Attack, I can't function without copious amounts of caffeine.