“Neither Ubisoft nor the game reflect this journalist’s viewpoints”
Ubisoft has removed the voice of Helen Lewis, an in-game podcaster, from Watch Dogs Legion after comments made by the UK journalist were deemed ‘controversial’.
Although no specific comments have been highlighted by Ubisoft, the comments are thought to have been insensitive to trans issues, with examples from an article written by Lewis for The Times being cited by news outlets.
Lewis, a staff writer for The Atlantic, wrote in 2017 that “a man can’t just say he has turned into a woman” with regards to proposed legislation to make transitioning easier.
It is thought that comments like these are what have led to the removal of her lines from the game. The two scripted discussions set for removal tackle the subject of fascism in the world of Watch Dogs and feature Lewis as a character named ‘Helen’.
This comes amid a long campaign of tackling harassment and abuse against staff, and Ubisoft has made a commitment to “reinforce our background checks for partners in the future”.
Many high-profile employees have resigned or been let go as a result of abuse allegations, and it seems the studio is dedicated to cleaning up their games as well while they remain under public scrutiny.
A Ubisoft spokesperson stated: “The development team worked with an external producer to select speaker profiles for these podcasts and were not aware of the controversy at the time of booking or recording.
“While the in-game podcasters are following a pre-approved script and are not speaking in their own name or with their own opinions, we understand this collaboration itself may be seen as offensive and we deeply regret any hurt this has caused.”