UPDATE: Ubisoft issued the following statement about the statues in Assassin’s Creed Origins:
“Discovery Tour was created to offer the maximum amount of people from various ages and cultural backgrounds the ability to visit the long lost world of Ancient Egypt and learn about its history. We worked hand in hand with educators and academic institutions to tailor the content to be suited for every audience, including younger students, taking into account cultural sensitivities that can be different from one country to another. “
The newly enabled discovery mode in Assassin’s Creed Origins may be one of the most historically accurate ways to explore ancient Egypt, but at least one detail has been altered to match modern sensibilities.
Statues of nude figures have their naughty-bits covered with seashells, something not generally seen in the world of ancient art, but also not unheard of. For example, changing times and tastes led to the altering even of masterworks like Michelangelo’s nude figures in the Sistine Chapel.
The Assassin’s Creed Origins Discovery Tour launched on February 20, and lets you just wander in the world Ubisoft so painstakingly recreated. Four years of historic research went into building the game’s world, and short of a time machine it’s about as close as you can get to walking the streets of Giza.
The change is probably just Ubisoft hedging against possible outcry by concerned parents who don’t appreciate the works of the ancient world, but we reached out to Ubisoft for an official word on the change. We’ll update the story when we hear back.
Seth Macy was on the fence about Assassin’s Creed Origins but believes he’ll be buying it for the scholarly pursuits. Follow him on Twitter @sethmacy.