Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment continue to say that The Division 2 is not political in nature, but their PR crew know an open goal when they see one as it issues a spoof Mexican Government communique announcing a US border wall.
The Division 2's creative director, Terry Spiers, may have said that the game is not out to make any political statements, but elsewhere the game's social media team know how to reignite a smouldering fire by again using real-life touch points to echo in-game events.
First, there was the infamous government shutdown mail that invited players to The Division 2 private beta. Now it's a fictional letter from Mexico, stating that the border is closed and the country will build a wall to prevent US citizens from crossing the border.
This came through a tweet on The Division 2's official Twitter account in the form of a fictional press release from the Mexican government. In this fictional world, the country is closing its borders to US citizens to prevent the spread of the super virus tearing the US apart.
It describes a "Zero-Tolerance Mandate" for any US citizens, including those escaping the "Dark Zones", which will no doubt cause some knowing grins and grimaces on each side of the real-life US-Mexico border wall debate.
Last time accusations of too-much-politicking were pointed at Massive, its COO Alf Condelius explained that being overtly political is bad for business . This makes sense, as The Division 2 is primarily a looter shooter and players are not looking to buy a propaganda banner to wave around.
So far it looks like Massive Entertainment delivered on the development side as many players who participated in the betas felt satisfied, despite having some issues. The PR department is clearly on its own course, as they practically tried to hide an elephant in a box of matchsticks.
Having political undertones in games is no terrible thing. Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid and some entries in the Call of Duty series are clear testaments to knowing that players don't mind a some political undertone.
The Division series could easily join the club with no fuss whatsoever, with what could serve as a layer of immersion and an interesting reverse story that echoes current politics, but it seems a bit like they are eating their own cake with the repeated "Oh no, there's no politics in our game...".
Twitter of course is lapping it up.
The Division 2 is out on 15 March 2019.