The latest video game in the Assassin’s Creed series from Ubisoft, “Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag” puts players on the high seas as 18th century pirates. The game, recently unveiled and set for release in October 2013, is complete with battles, treasure…and whaling.
Assassin’s Creed gamers will be able to harpoon virtual whales in a realistic hunt. PETA recently released a statement in response to the game that they say is glorifying an outdated and cruel practice. The animal rights organization said “Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it’s disgraceful for any game to glorify it.”
The PETA spokesperson added “PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.”
Ubisoft has yet to respond to the organization’s comments, but PETA has had success in similar campaigns before. Zynga removed dog fighting from their game “Mafia Wars” after outraged animal lovers spoke up.
Whaling remains a topic of heated international debate. Some countries continue whaling operations despite public outcry and an international ban of commercial whaling established in 1986, including Japan whose government subsidizes an annual whale hunt that they say is conducted for scientific research.