Assassin’s Creed: Revelations launched last week on console, and gamers around the world started receiving their pre-ordered copies from Amazon. Part of the retail giant’s promotions included a pre-order bonus: An awesome downloadable cloak for your Xbox 360 avatar, just like the one Ezio wears in-game.Sounds simple enough, and just like any other pre-order bonus deal. However, there’s a catch. Despite a cloak being little more than an embellished blanket (think about it), the Amazon pre-order code provided only works on male avatars.
Unfortunately, as her sister Rachel reports, things didn’t go to plan when Eleanor tried to download the clothing item.
…a screen popped up telling her she was not entitled to this item as her avatar is female and this item is only for males, maybe she should pass it on to someone more… penis-y.
Believe it or not, those aren’t the actual words offered by Xbox LIVE, although we kinda wish they were. Instead, Xbox LIVE popped up this message:
Can’t redeem your code because the item only fits a male avatar. Your avatar is female. You may want to share this code with a friend who has a male avatar.
Female gamers are making up a larger and larger percentage of the general game-playing public, with numbers nudging 50% in some recent surveys. Gender discrimination in the online world is nothing new, but generally it’s something that comes from the community, rather than the retailer.
I can’t get my “reward for choosing Amazon” because I’m a girl? I laughed a lot when the message came up because I was in disbelief. I thought we were past this in gaming.
As Rachel points out – the major problem here is not with Ubisoft, who designed the game, or with Xbox who are hosting the garment. It’s with Amazon itself. Howso? The Assassin’s Creed cloak in question is currently available as an avatar costume for both male and female characters via the Avatar Marketplace. It’s Amazon‘s choice to only allow male gamers to access their free content.