Assassin's Creed Shadows YouTube Dislikes
Image: Push Square

The cinematic announcement trailer for Assassin's Creed Shadows has been — and is being — utterly bombarded with dislikes on YouTube across basically every channel it's appeared on. The most viewed version of the video is on Ubisoft's official channel — breaking 7 million views in roughly four days — but it's fair to say that people are torn on the reveal. At the time of writing, the trailer has 263,000 likes compared to a whopping 586,000 dislikes.

It's a similar story on the official PlayStation channel (15,000 likes to 26,000 dislikes) and media channels like IGN (8,300 likes to 36,000 dislikes). The follow-up 'Who Are Naoe and Yasuke?' video — which details the game's dual protagonists — is also being flooded with negative engagement, sitting at 29,000 likes and 83,000 dislikes on Ubisoft's channel, at around 1 million views.

By our count, this is by far the most disliked reveal of any mainline Assassin's Creed game to date.

We're looking at a pretty serious backlash here, but why is it happening? Well, going by social media reactions — and YouTube's own comments section — a lot of the negativity stems from the inclusion of Yasuke as a main character. Historical records show that Yasuke was a real person — a man of African origin who ended up serving under all-important warlord Nobunaga Oda — but his time in Japan is largely undocumented.

As such, Yasuke has become something of a folklore figure, and has been portrayed in numerous games, manga, and anime over the years. However, it seems as though Yasuke's portrayal in Shadows has caused a stir; some people are upset that Assassin's Creed's first foray into Japan doesn't star native Japanese leads (female protagonist Naoe is Japanese, it should be noted), while others have criticised the game's potential lack of historical accuracy. Of course, Assassin's Creed has always played fast and loose with its historical leanings.

In any case, there's a clear target on Shadows' back right now, and it probably doesn't help that the mere mention of Ubisoft tends to conjure some negative reactions these days. Still, there are reports that Shadows' pre-order numbers have already started strong, so we'll have to wait and see whether this perceived backlash has any real impact on the game's commercial performance when it releases in November.