Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

On Monday, publisher Ubisoft lifted the embargo on Assassin’s Creed IV, and the GamesBeat preview revealed that the game is about pirate life on the Caribbean.

Our preview also noted that one of the new aspects of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is hunting whales. That led animal-rights group PETA to call the game “disgraceful” in a statement.

GamesBeat contacted Ubisoft about PETA’s stance, and the publisher provided the following response:

History is our playground in Assassin’s Creed. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a work of fiction that depicts the real events during the Golden Era of Pirates. We do not condone illegal whaling, just as we don’t condone a pirate lifestyle of poor hygiene, plundering, hijacking ships, and over-the-legal-limit drunken debauchery.

It’s an argument that many gamers have made as well: White-washing history won’t help PETA fight against animal cruelty.

And even if this new Assassin’s Creed does glorify whaling — as it certainly glorifies the life of a pirate — will it lead to a generation of gamers who head to the Caribbean to hunt down humpbacks?