Developers of Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad have stated they will alter the game’s opening cutscene, due the villainous organization’s propaganda posters being compared to Black Lives Matter. (Thanks @LordMikeSmith!)
The mobile game recently launched, with the game’s introduction cinematic making some uncomfortable. You can find it via a third-party upload below.
For non-English speakers using translation software to read this article, the narration in the video say the following:
“The world is in an alarming state. Wars, corruption and poverty have made it more unstable than ever. As the situation keeps worsening, anger is brewing. From between the cracks, a new threat has emerged to take advantage of escalating civil unrest. They are known as UMBRA.
A faceless organization that wants to build a new world order. They claim to promote an egalitarian utopia to gain popular support; while behind the scenes, UMBRA organizes deadly terrorist attacks to generate even more chaos and weaken governments … at the cost of many innocent lives. Simultaneously, they have been hacking social media to discredit world leaders and rally people to their cause.
Under immense pressure, world leaders have come together to authorize a new international cross-agency unit designed to combat UMBRA. It id clear, playing by the rules will not win this fight. The leader of this unconventional squad will need to recruit elite soldiers from every corner of the world, including the criminal underworld.
As commander of this unprecedented squad, we need you to put an end to UMBRA’s campaign of chaos. Welcome, to Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad.
The reason this has drawn ire is due to events across the United States at this time.
After the death of George Floyd (initially assumed to be due to police brutality and later revealed to be a fentanyl overdose [1, 2]), several major US has been embroiled in rioting and looting. While those rioting claim it is in defense of African Americans and other minorities, their actions have resulted in the burning of small businesses and murder.
Some have claimed the riots have been goaded or orchestrated by those with communist or Marxist ideals (or at the least those with the following goal), hoping to destabilize the US and subsequently execute a coup. It is not hard to imagine where some may have drawn comparisons to UMBRA.
The group also uses a raised fist, a symbol typically associated with revolution and rebellion. It has been used during the French Revolution, by communist political parties, the Black Power movement, Black Lives Matter, ANTIFA, and more.
In a thread on the game’s official subReddit, one user stated “I’m just gonna be the first to say it, having the main villain logo being a clenched black fist rising upwards is probably not the best choice with the current events right now…”
Despite being downvoted by others on the subreddit, a representative of the development team stated the cutscene would be altered in an update; despite justifying the team’s creative decision.
“In the intro video in Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad, UMBRA’s propaganda posters feature a raised fist. This logo was chosen because it is a universal symbol of resistance—any resemblance to images associated with the Black Lives Matter movement is coincidental. Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad is a work of fiction and does not portray any real world events. However, we have listened to players who have pointed out similarities, and to avoid any confusion we have decided to modify the trailer in the next update.”
We will keep you informed as we learn more.
UPDATE: Ubisoft have now issued an official statement.
“Imagery that appeared in the opening video sequence of Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad featuring a ‘raised fist’ was insensitive and harmful to both its inclusion an dhow it was portrayed. We have listened to and appreciate the players and the broader community who have pointed it out and we apologize. This ‘raised fist’ imagery will be removed in the next title update this Tuesday, September 1 on Android and as soon as possible on iOS.”
You can find the full rundown (via the video description) below.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad is a fast military role-playing game where players will assemble and upgrade the most iconic Tom Clancy’s heroes and villains, to lead them in stunning realtime 5vs5 shooting battles.
ALL YOUR FAVORITE TOM CLANCY’S CHARACTERS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
For the first time in the franchise, you will be able to assemble heroes and villains from Rainbow Six®, Ghost Recon®, The Division®, Splinter Cell®.
LEAD REAL-TIME 5V5 BATTLES
Lead your squad in dynamic 5vs5 shooting battles on iconic maps from the Clancy-verse. Trigger strategic orders with perfect timing to defeat your opponent’s squad.
BUILD THE DEADLIEST SQUAD AROUND
Train, equip & upgrade your soldiers with hundreds of different weapons and gear items to unleash their full potential on the battlefield.
SOCIAL AND COMPETITIVE FRAMEWORK
Challenge other players in the PvP Arena to reach the top of the leaderboard. Rally friends and other players to join forces in epic Guild Wars.
A NEW PVE MODE
Experience thrilling action in Campaign mode, with a unique storyline, where you will have to face a new threat to save the world.
Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad is available on Android, and iOS.