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Why Far Cry 5 may be UbiSoft's biggest mistake yet

Published: 18:13, 26 May 2017
Man aiming his gun at another
Far Cry 5

As with all art, there is a right time and place for exploring certain topics with video games. UbiSoft's choice of setting and theme for the new Far Cry game clearly shows that the company is either oblivious to the current political climate or is just willfully ignoring it.

The next instalment of the Far Cry series will be taking players to Montana. According to the latest trailer you can see above, the game will be dealing with faith, guns and freedom. Chances that any of those three things will be presented in a positive light, no matter to what degree the themes will be ramped up to eleven, are slim. This may present UbiSoft with several problems when the game finally launches.

UbiSoft Man and his dog sitting in front of a store Far Cry 5

There is a fairly vocal portion of the internet. and YouTube in particular, that has been taking the piss out of the political Left, liberals and feminists for quite a while now. Trump's America is also a reality. Sentiments are shifting away from what modern liberal ideas have become quite rapidly, and saying that the discussion surrounding politics and cultural perspectives is heating up would be a gross understatement. Leftist movements like Black Lives Matter and Not All Muslims, along with the SJWs and feminists supporting them are often seen as more oppressive than their Right-wing counterparts and accusations of thought policing and liberal ideas doing more harm than good to the West are louder than ever.

UbiSoft Two armed people walking towards a church Far Cry 5

A large portion of this opposition to modern Left-wing ideas happen to be gamers. If there is any need for proof of this one must simply poke around in the GamerGate movement or read the comment sections of any of Anita Snarkeesian's YouTube videos, if she didn't find it appropriate to conveniently disable commenting.

UbiSoft and the Far Cry series in particular aren't famed for subtlety and there is a real danger that what is depicted is the game will alienate a lot of potential customers. The antagonists of Far Cry 5 are clearly supposed to be white Christian nationalists - an image that has been demonised by the media for a long time, but an image that more and more people seem to be identifying with, minus the demonisation of course.

UbiSoft Man impaled by a stylized cross Far Cry 5

Another theme the game seems to be flirting with is religious radicalism and extremism. The problem here is that it is attributing those aspects of religion to the Western and distinctly American or Christian variant of these phenomenon and is doing this in a time where Islamic extremism and terrorism is in the foreground of global media coverage.

UbiSoft A stylized cross on fire Far Cry 5

The question that remains is, will the gamers inside the currently booming Western anti-SJW movements vote with their wallets when it comes to Far Cry 5? In the past, the situation was usually such that gamers would cry and moan about something they feel is malicious or misrepresented but still shower a publisher with pre-orders. Considering UbiSoft's famous marketing budget, Far Cry 5 will sell, regardless whether the game will be controversial or not, and it might break sales records exactly because and not in spite of this questionable choice of setting and themes. We will find out if this will be the case 28 February 2018 when the game launches, but keeping an eye on discourse surrounding the game leading up to launch will be interesting to say the least.



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