30K Sign Petition Against Assassin’s Creed Shadows

Over 30,000 users sign petition to cancel Assassin’s Creed Shadows for cultural insensitivity.

Assassin's Creed Shadows gameplay trailer causing controversy over cultural depiction.
Image Credit: That Park Place

Over 30,000 Users Sign Petition to Cancel Assassin’s Creed Shadows

The Complaint Originates from the Japanese Community

Assassin’s Creed Shadows has become a focal point of controversy and discussion within the gaming community. Following the release of its first gameplay trailer about a month ago, the game has faced intense scrutiny, particularly regarding its portrayal of samurais. This backlash has culminated in a rapidly growing petition on Change.org, calling for the game’s cancellation.

The petition, initiated by a user named Toru Shimizu, is directed primarily at the Japanese community. As of now, it has garnered over 30,000 signatures, with the number steadily increasing. Remarkably, during the brief period it took to draft this article, the count surged from 29,500 to 30,000, highlighting the momentum and widespread dissatisfaction among players.

Origins of the Petition

The petition was launched on June 19, but it only started gaining significant traction in the last 24 hours. During this short span, more than 13,000 individuals have added their signatures, pushing the petition into the spotlight and amplifying its reach. This surge in support underscores the deep-seated concerns within the Japanese gaming community about the representation of their culture and history in Assassin’s Creed Shadows.

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Core Grievances

The primary complaint articulated in the petition is the perceived “lack of historical accuracy and cultural respect” in the game. Shimizu and the petition’s supporters argue that the game’s portrayal of samurais and Japanese culture is not only historically inaccurate but also disrespectful. This sentiment is encapsulated in the petition, which describes the game as a “serious insult to Japanese culture and history.”

Moreover, Shimizu points out instances of “Asian racism” in the game’s narrative and character portrayal. The adventure in Assassin’s Creed Shadows features protagonists Yasuke and Naoe, and critics claim that their depiction, along with other elements of the game, reinforces harmful stereotypes and misrepresentations of Asian cultures. These issues have struck a chord with many in the Japanese community, fueling the call for Ubisoft to reconsider the game’s release.

Demands and Impact

In light of these grievances, the petition demands that “Ubisoft immediately cancel the release of Assassin’s Creed Shadows and show more respect for Japanese history and culture.” This request reflects a broader desire for greater sensitivity and accuracy in the portrayal of historical and cultural elements in video games.

The impact of the petition has been significant, drawing attention from both gamers and the media. It has sparked discussions about the responsibility of game developers to ensure cultural accuracy and respect in their creations. The controversy surrounding Assassin’s Creed Shadows has also highlighted the broader issue of representation in the gaming industry and the importance of engaging with and respecting the cultures being depicted.

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Ubisoft’s Response

Despite the mounting backlash, Ubisoft has so far remained silent on the matter. The company has not released any official statements addressing the concerns raised by the petition. The release of Assassin’s Creed Shadows is still scheduled for November 15, 2024, on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

The game’s director has taken a firm stance, indicating that the development and release plans will proceed as scheduled. In a recent statement, he emphasized that while the feedback is noted, it will not alter the game’s release timeline or content. This position has further fueled the controversy, as many see it as dismissive of the legitimate concerns raised by the Japanese community.

Broader Implications

The controversy surrounding Assassin’s Creed Shadows is part of a larger conversation about cultural representation and sensitivity in the gaming industry. Video games, as a medium, have a significant impact on how cultures and histories are perceived and understood by global audiences. Misrepresentations or insensitive portrayals can perpetuate stereotypes and contribute to a lack of understanding and respect for diverse cultures.

This incident underscores the need for developers to engage more deeply with the cultures they depict. Consulting with historians, cultural experts, and community representatives can help ensure that games are both accurate and respectful. Such efforts can lead to richer, more authentic gaming experiences that resonate positively with players from all backgrounds.

The Role of Community Feedback

The petition against Assassin’s Creed Shadows also highlights the power of community feedback in shaping the gaming industry. Players today have numerous platforms to voice their opinions and concerns, and developers are increasingly held accountable by their audiences. While not all feedback will lead to changes, the ability of a community to organize and advocate for their views is a vital aspect of the industry’s evolution.

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Moving Forward

As the petition continues to gain signatures and media attention, it remains to be seen how Ubisoft will ultimately respond. The company’s approach to handling this controversy could have long-lasting implications for its relationship with the gaming community and its reputation regarding cultural sensitivity.

For now, the release of Assassin’s Creed Shadows is still on the calendar, but the growing outcry serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural respect and accuracy in media. Developers, publishers, and players alike are watching closely to see how this situation unfolds and what lessons might be learned for future projects.


The petition against Assassin’s Creed Shadows is a stark reminder of the complexities involved in depicting historical and cultural narratives in video games. It underscores the importance of accuracy, respect, and engagement with the cultures being represented. As the gaming industry continues to grow and evolve, these considerations will become increasingly vital in creating inclusive and respectful gaming experiences.

Assassin’s Creed Shadows may still make its scheduled release, but the conversation it has sparked will likely continue, influencing future developments and the industry’s approach to cultural representation. For Ubisoft and other developers, this controversy offers a critical opportunity to reflect on their practices and make strides toward more thoughtful and respectful portrayals in their games.

FAQs for Assassin’s Creed Shadows Controversy

Q: What is Assassin’s Creed Shadows?

A: Assassin’s Creed Shadows is the latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, set to release on November 15, 2024. It features a storyline centered around samurais and is set in historical Japan.

Q: Why is there a petition to cancel Assassin’s Creed Shadows?

A: The petition was started due to concerns over the game’s portrayal of samurais and Japanese culture. Critics argue that the game lacks historical accuracy and cultural respect, and some perceive elements of Asian racism in its narrative and character depiction.

Q: How many signatures has the petition received?

A: As of the latest count, the petition has garnered over 30,000 signatures and continues to grow rapidly.

Q: Who started the petition and who is it directed toward?

A: The petition was initiated by a user named Toru Shimizu and is directed primarily at the Japanese community and Ubisoft.

Q: What are the main complaints in the petition?

A: The petition’s primary grievances include a lack of historical accuracy, disrespect towards Japanese culture and history, and the presence of perceived Asian racism in the game’s portrayal of its characters and setting.

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Q: What does the petition demand?

A: The petition demands that Ubisoft immediately cancel the release of Assassin’s Creed Shadows and show more respect for Japanese history and culture.

Q: How has Ubisoft responded to the petition?

A: Ubisoft has not released any official statement regarding the petition. The game’s director has stated that despite the backlash, the game’s development and release will proceed as planned.

Q: When is Assassin’s Creed Shadows scheduled for release?

A: Assassin’s Creed Shadows is scheduled to be released on November 15, 2024, for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Q: What is the setting and main storyline of Assassin’s Creed Shadows?

A: The game is set in historical Japan and revolves around samurais, featuring protagonists Yasuke and Naoe.

Q: Why is cultural accuracy important in video games?

A: Cultural accuracy in video games is crucial because it helps ensure respectful and authentic representations of different cultures. Inaccurate or disrespectful portrayals can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and misunderstandings, negatively impacting the perception of those cultures.

Q: What can game developers do to ensure cultural accuracy?

A: Game developers can engage with historians, cultural experts, and community representatives to ensure their depictions are accurate and respectful. This includes thorough research and consultations throughout the development process.

Q: Has there been any previous controversy regarding cultural representation in video games?

A: Yes, there have been multiple instances where video games have faced criticism for cultural insensitivity or inaccurate representations. These controversies often spark important conversations about the need for better cultural awareness in the industry.

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Q: What impact does community feedback have on the gaming industry?

A: Community feedback plays a significant role in the gaming industry, as it can influence the development and direction of games. Developers increasingly pay attention to player feedback to improve their games and address concerns.

Q: Is there any precedent for a game being canceled due to community backlash?

A: While it is rare for a game to be canceled solely due to community backlash, there have been instances where significant changes were made to games in response to player concerns. Developers sometimes delay releases or rework content to address these issues.

Q: How can players voice their concerns about a game?

A: Players can voice their concerns through various platforms, including social media, forums, petitions, and direct feedback to developers and publishers. Organized efforts, like petitions, can amplify these voices and draw more attention to specific issues.

Q: What are the broader implications of this controversy for the gaming industry?

A: The controversy surrounding Assassin’s Creed Shadows highlights the importance of cultural sensitivity and accuracy in video games. It may lead to increased awareness and changes in how developers approach the representation of different cultures, potentially influencing industry standards and practices.

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