In the current year when more people are trying to shoehorn modern politics into literally everything, an Ubisoft boss reiterated their company’s stance to avoid current year politics in their games – and he says it’s bad for sales too.
The news comes via Ubisoft Massive COO Alf Condelius, who said (via GamesIndustry) their games “cannot be openly political” because it’s “bad for business,” words coming from the latest Sweden Game Conference in Skövde.
“It’s a balance, because we cannot be openly political in our games,” he said. “So for example, in The Division, it’s a dystopian future and there’s a lot of interpretations that it’s something that we see the current society moving towards. But it’s not – it’s a fantasy. It’s a universe and a world that we created for people to explore how to be a good person in a slowly decaying world. But people like to put politics into that – and we back away from those interpretations as much as we can, because we don’t want to take a stance in current politics.”
Furthermore, Condelius added that overt political messages in games are also “bad for business,” saying the company avoids bludgeoning people over the head with dumb political themes based around modern politics. Instead, they try to create a neutral political landscape which players can interpret differently.
An example was given for Ubisoft’s upcoming video game adaptation for James Cameron’s Avatar. While the movie is basically Pocahontas but -Aliens, it has big anti-capitalism themes – themes Condelius notes they will not misconstrue into who you should vote for in today’s world.
“That is political, but we’re not going out and saying you should vote for that person, or you should not do this,” he said. “But it’s a political statement of course, and we think that it’s important, but we’re not writing it on somebody’s nose.”
Their latest game to have political themes, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, is launching on March 15th of next year across Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
How do you guys feel about Ubisoft’s games with political themes like The Division 2, Far Cry 5, and others? How do you feel about political themes with games in general? Sound off in the comments below!