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The debate over whether or not games can take political stances in regards to modern identity politics / partisan politics is still ongoing. Ubisoft has, despite making games with political fiction, remained strict on their refusal of taking stances on hot button issues. They’ve reiterated this once again.
The new interview features Ubisoft VP of editorial Tommy Francois, who goes a bit deeper into why their development teams won’t take hardline stances on current year political issues.
“We believe that games should offer a 360-degree view of life, should let people interact with all points of view,” Francois said. “If my game was set during the Vietnam conflict, for example, we would want the Viet Minh, the Viet Cong … basically everyone’s point of view. And that relates back to people making up their own opinions and our ability to create more mature games that are nuanced, versus being black or white.”
Ubisoft has been trying to expose players to other opinions or viewpoints, but also keep it open enough to where they can make up their own mind.
“If people want to have fun and don’t want to engage with some of these systems, I’m cool with it, too,” Francois said. “People who just want to have fun, and not be exposed to these points of view, or experience it on a deeper level should be able to do what they want.”
Coming from this, Francois noted they do not force their employees to censor themselves, creatively, when building their games.
“As we are building the game, in most instances, there tends to be self-censorship that we actually fight. My boss, Serge Hascoet, the CCO [Chief Creative Officer] for Ubisoft, has often told teams, “I have never had to censor you guys. You censor yourselves. Please push me and make us consider whether we should censor you, because it would be proof that you’re saying things. And I’d rather have this problem.”
You can find the full interview with Francois here on Ubisoft’s official website.