Former UFC and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is no stranger to video games. He’s not only appeared in a number of licensed titles, including the recent games EA Sports UFC as DLC and WWE 2K15, but Lesnar has also had the honor of being a multiple time cover athlete.
Considering that Brock Lesnar is one of the world’s most famous athletes, it’s no surprise that he’s appeared in the licensed games based on the industries he’s been a part of, such as ultimate fighting and pro wrestling. In fact, virtually every major athlete for the past couple of decades has been immortalized in video games based on their sports, but rarely, if ever, do they go on to have their likeness appear in other genres.
However, users on Reddit have noticed something strange in regards to the new trailer for Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. The trailer features concept art of the upcoming game, and one piece of concept art appears to show Brock Lesnar fighting fellow mixed-martial artist Frank Mir by smacking him on the head with a shovel.
Lesnar is easily recognized thanks to his unmistakable physique and unique back tattoo. The character in the concept art clearly shares the same shape and skin tone of Lesnar’s body, as well as the aforementioned tattoo. There’s really no doubt that the concept art is depicting Brock Lesnar.
But why would Ubisoft use the likenesses of Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate concept art? No announcement has been made about either athlete striking any sort of licensing deal with the company, and it would definitely be odd career moves. Not to mention Lesnar and Mir would be extremely out of place in Victorian-era London amongst actual historical figures of the time such as Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin.
The likely scenario is that Ubisoft simply decided to include these athletes in the AC Syndicate concept art as placeholders, or as a teasing Easter Egg for fans to notice and talk about. If the latter is true, then mission accomplished. There’s nothing like an outlandish Easter Egg such as this to get people talking, which can generate additional buzz for a game.
That being said, it’s still possible that Ubisoft decided to secure likenesses of Lesnar and Mir to have them represent fictional characters in the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate story. While it’s a relatively new practice, we’ve seen video game companies begin seeking out the likeness of celebrities to play characters in the game, usually offering motion capture and voice acting work as well. Recent examples of this include Ellen Page appearing in Beyond: Two Souls and Kevin Spacey in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will be available for PS4 and Xbox One on October 23rd, with a PC release to follow later.