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Assassin's Creed Shadows
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One of the game's dual protagonists Yasuke, an African samurai, is the first main character in the Assassin's Creed series to be based on a real historical figure, but his real-life identity and status serving under Japanese daimyo Oda Nobunaga has been the subject of a contentious debate among historians. There are few scholarly/historical resources available describing him and his life, as well as no known resources that refer to him as a samurai, with the most common conclusion being his title was a retainer to Nobunaga.

His reveal as a main character in the game on May 15, 2024 caused polarizing reactions worldwide on social media. Fans critical of the decision claimed Ubisoft were going against the series' penchant for accurate historical backgrounds and misrepresented Japan, which had never been covered in-depth in the globally-spanning game series, by inflating Yasuke's role in history and not having both protagonists be Japanese (the other protagonist, Naoe, is Japanese), claiming that Yasuke was not actually a samurai. Fans in support of Yasuke's role claiming that he was actually a samurai called these objections racist and based on narrow-minded arguments and inferences, with some going so far as to opine that Asian samurai protagonists in media were oversaturated and that critics would give the same complaints if it were a game set in Africa starring an African protagonist. This intense fighting led to an edit war on Yasuke's English Wikipedia article, with administrators publicly calling the Talk page "a complete dumpster fire". As of May 19, the consensus that was reached on the Talk page appears to be that there is still no historical evidence confirming that Yasuke was a samurai, and the article does not call him one when talking about his documented life.

The lack of clarity on his life allowed popular culture and media to take creative liberties in speculating who he was, often depicting him in adaptations as a high-ranking samurai, and Ubisoft seemed to be going in a similar direction. The advertising for the game at its announcement described Yasuke as a "samurai of historical legend", and a press release stated:

"Ubisoft Quebec wanted to include a Samurai, and Yasuke's story was open-ended enough to allow for creativity; there are still plenty of questions and speculation surrounding him. The fascinating facts, though, were undisputable: of African origin, he arrived in Japan enslaved by the Portuguese; he impressed with size, strength, and wits; he served under the Japanese daimyo Oda Nobunaga. There must have been something exceptional about Yasuke to succeed in the service of a personality like Nobunaga's, [...] and the goal has been to expound on this in Assassin's Creed Shadows through his curiosity, openness, respect for values and tradition, valor, warmth, and charisma."

While the header for this section of the press release is called "Yasuke: A Real-Life Samurai", this description seems to be carefully worded to stop short of directly calling him a samurai, with the use of "historical legend" elsewhere suggesting that they were aware of the unconfirmed status and were fictionalizing Yasuke for the game.

In a set of developer interviews with Famitsu published on May 15, creative director Jonathan Dumont elaborated that they also chose Yasuke to fit with the game's story of a foreigner who fights off oppressing forces, like the Portuguese slave trade's effects on Japan, while exploring a country unknown to him alongside the player, stating that they were "first looking for "our samurai," someone who could be our non-Japanese eyes". The following day, the Famitsu article was edited to change direct quotes in the interviews in contexts where Yasuke was referred to as an "outsider" to being a "foreign-born samurai", and also removed the aforementioned quote, for unknown reasons.
person MehDeletingLater calendar_month May 19, 2024
Game website with "samurai of historical legend" quote:
https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/assassins-creed/shadows

Ubisoft press release:
https://news.ubisoft.com/en-us/article/2LH4Ael4X1TlNJY3B3aYg5/assassins-creed-shadows-launches-november-15-features-dual-protagonists-in-feudal-japan

Ubisoft article with several videos explaining historical backgrounds behind previous Assassin's Creed games:
https://news.ubisoft.com/en-us/article/6d4zQXyH0VF6z75Ab7jfss/discover-the-real-history-behind-every-assassins-creed

IGN articles:
https://www.ign.com/articles/when-and-where-is-assassins-creed-shadows-set
https://www.ign.com/articles/assassins-creed-shadows-yasuke-asian-protagonist

TheGamer article:
https://www.thegamer.com/african-assassins-creed-shadows-controversy/

Time article:
https://time.com/6978997/assassins-creed-shadow-yasuke-controversy/

Forbes article mentioning Wikipedia edit war and international reactions:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/olliebarder/2024/05/15/japanese-fans-are-puzzled-that-yasuke-is-in-assassins-creed-shadows/

Yasuke English Wikipedia article (Note: while much of this controversy occurred on English language Wikipedia, bear in mind that Wikipedia articles by themselves are not reliable sources for historical research, and the English article is not a uniform representation of the information on Yasuke across the different language versions of Wikipedia that have this article. There are varying primary, secondary, historical and pop culture sources suggested for and used in all of these articles either backing up verified information about him, or making different claims that may not be accurate.):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasuke
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Yasuke

Wikipedia administrator discussion:
https://web.archive.org/web/20240518220622/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Talk:Yasuke_is_a_complete_dumpster_fire

Earliest archive of original Famitsu interview (in Japanese; English machine translations for all archives of this article compared between Google Translate and DeepL prior to publishing this submission. Deleted quote in Japanese is "まず“私たちの侍”、つまり日本人ではない私たちの目になれる人物を探していましたが、これは") (May 15):
https://web.archive.org/web/20240515185159/https://www.famitsu.com/article/202405/5194

Archived edited interview (May 16):
https://web.archive.org/web/20240516194746/https://www.famitsu.com/article/202405/5194

Latest archived edit (May 18):
https://web.archive.org/web/20240518034336/https://www.famitsu.com/article/202405/5194
Toontown Online
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Attachment Despite being an online-oriented game, Toontown Online was briefly distributed as a CD-ROM title in 2005, with Sony subsidiary Platform Publishing handling the physical release. The CD-ROM version allowed players to run the game without needing to install it onto their computers and came with a free two-month subscription and an in-game kart that players could drive on Goofy Speedway. Home console ports of Toontown Online were also announced concurrently with the CD-ROM edition, but these never materialized.

According to a 2004 Game Developer article by developer Mike Goslin, the decision to give the game a physical release was due to anxieties from consumers about not being able to physically hold a game that they were spending money on, as online distribution had not yet been fully established as a mainstream distribution model for video games.
person VinchVolt calendar_month March 15, 2024
Crush Crush
subdirectory_arrow_right Ayano's Lovesick Labyrinth (Game), Yandere Simulator (Game), Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals (Game), YandereDev (Company)
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person chocolatejr9 calendar_month December 14, 2023
Drill Dozer
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The protagonist of Drill Dozer, Jill, is a heroic burglar who breaks into museums and fights against police officers. This detail is not mentioned in any of the game's US promotional materials, with a press release for the game simply calling Jill "not a bad girl" and claiming she destroys so many things because "she just has some issues", likely to avoid controversy.
Animal Crossing: Wild World
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