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Ubisoft apologises for The Division 2 government shutdown joke

Published: 20:21, 01 February 2019
Ubisoft
picture showing female soldier in front of white building
The Division 2

Ubisoft have been hounded for a while for making Tom Clancy games, due to their inherent political undertones. They shot themselves in the foot with a joke about government shutdown in The Division 2 beta email, prompting an apology.

When The Division 2 debuted this year, media quickly started asking questions about whether the game will be political. Initially, Ubisoft denied ties to politics, but since this is a game with late Tom Clancy's name on it, political undertones were unavoidable. Alf Condelius later cleared things up by saying that politics were unavoidable, but the developers were striving to strike a balance between politics and proper fiction.

Fast forward to recent days, someone at Ubisoft thought it would be a good idea to shoot themselves in the foot and fuel all the controversial fire by sending The Division 2 beta test invitations with a joke about USA's recent government shutdown.

Many gamers found the joke hilarious, but this government shutdown is the longest one in history and hundreds of thousands of people are left without pay. It was only a matter of time before this would offend someone and Ubisoft rolled out a follow-up email apologising for the previous one.

Ubisoft are now in the crosshairs for accusations about politics in their game, but they have proven in the past they can balance it out properly. For example, Far Cry 5 is set in Montana, USA, with armed people left and right and a religious cult in the middle. 

Still, there was nothing to hint at Ubisoft leaning toward any political ideology, in a game setting where that was really hard to pull off. Consequently, Far Cry 5 turned out to be a major success and a well-beloved title in the franchise.

Ubisoft Picture of some players doing PvP in The Division 2 Dark Zone The Division 2

On the other side of the spectrum, there is EA, where they had a rather simple narrative to work out with Battlefield V but managed to rewrite history and cause the ire of gamers in the process. Bottom line, Ubisoft's joke was tasteless towards American government employees, but The Division 2 is highly unlikely to become a digital propaganda disperser.

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