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Jacob Frye is one of the protagonists of the 2015 video game Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. Jacob is widely popular among most AC fans.
In Sequence 8 of the game, Jacob becomes allied with a man named Maxwell Roth, and does some missions for him. They part ways due to Jacob refusing a mission that would kill children in the process, and Jacob kills Maxwell at the finale of Sequence 8. As his last act before dying, Maxwell forces a kiss on Jacob. Some fans said the kiss seemed to be there just "for laughs/shock value", but even besides the kiss, many fans saw queer subtext in Jacob and Maxwell's interactions. "Rothfrye" is one of the more common pairings for Jacob in fanworks.
Syndicate's lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem (a gay man) confirmed later in an interview with The Assassin's Den that Maxwell Roth is gay and was in love with Jacob: "The kiss between Maxwell and Jacob is not for laughs. Maxwell is in love with Jacob and Jacob may have reciprocated. The goal was to make that moment ambiguous." He went on to say that "It is very intentional that Jacob has no love interest in this game; the sequence with Roth is the love interest sequence. [...] Maybe there is something going on, like maybe Jacob has to figure himself out to some degree, and this is the first step." In another interview, Yohalem said that Jacob has "this incredibly strong attraction, obviously" to Roth.
Some fans eagerly embraced the possibility of Jacob being gay or bisexual.
Thinking of Jacob as queer also gives LGBTQ players a rare opportunity. Jacob may be contentious, but he cares for his sister. He may be a killer, but he’s an Assassin, a franchise hero joining a long and noble tradition. Jacob is a passionate youth who grows into a caring, authoritative older man. This sort of transformation is practically unheard of, and the thought that this was intentional is deeply inspiring for me as a bisexual woman and a writer.
However, other fans rejected this, with one fan contacting Ubisoft Germany and receiving in response an email stating "Jacob Frye is not bisexual to our knowledge. At any rate, he has not come out to us." The fan felt vindicated and posted the email to their tumblr with the closing line "If you want change a sexual identity from a Game character then write fanfiction or use Mods (if it's possible). But don’t tell lying to another Fans !" Proponents of a queer Jacob responded to this by saying a "random employee of the German branch of Ubisoft" would not know better than Yohalem, the lead writer. The official Assassin's Creed Tumblr account weighed in by reblogging the debate with the comment "Jacob Frye is bisexual. This is canon. The end."
- The Assassin's Den - ft. Jeffrey Yohalem (Assassin's Creed Syndicate Lead Writer), Loomer, November 27 2015
- Is Jacob Frye Gay or Bisexual?, Cora Walker, January 15 2016, Remeshed.com. Archived page
- Why Jacob Frye's Conflicts Make Him a Modern Hero, Simone de Rochefort, January 11 2016, Remeshed.com. Archived page
- Jacob Frye is not Bisexual !, February 3 2016, tumblr
- Tumblr reblog with comment, February 3 2016
- Assassin's Creed official tumblr, February 2016