Ubisoft didn't entirely deny The Division 2 being political this time around though, as Alf Condelius, the COO of Massive Entertainment, stated that the game will have some political elements, but it will not be "overtly political".
Video games are treading further into politics as new releases come by, and fans are not exactly happy about it. Such a controversy has been surrounding The Division 2 due to the developers' choice of setting, which is in Washington DC that has apparently collapsed.
Many questions have been asked of Ubisoft regarding this topic and they haven't exactly gracefully dodged the topic or owned up to their creative style. Alf Condelius finally gave an answer with a bit better structure though, when GamesIndustry.biz asked him about the balance of politics and fantasy in The Division 2.
According to him, Ubisoft are refusing to take a political stance as the studio and publisher are striving to strike a balance between the game's fantasy and politics. Condelius continued by saying that people like to put politics into games and considering that there are many different interpretations of the game world, Ubisoft would rather not take sides.
The reason for this is because being political is bad for business, so Ubisoft are aiming to avoid "overtly political statements" and thus leave their games open for interpretation without taking sides. It makes sense, considering that taking sides could potentially mean alienating a good chunk of their player nase.
Condelius cited Ubisoft Massive's work on the next Avatar project based on James Cameron's movie as something that is inherently political, but the company will refrain from telling their users who to support and what to like.
When about whether games can still be art if they are straightforward, Condelius responded by saying that "art doesn't have to that straightforward" but doesn't have to include a political message either.
When doing a game on a virus that is being exploited by an agent of a covert government outfit, it's hard to find the balance between going political and remaining neutral, but Ubisoft seem to have nailed it with the first game, so the tidings for The Division 2 might just prove to be glad ones.