Ubisoft wants to ask political questions in its games, but not answer them

The Division 2

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has clarified the company’s goals when it comes to handling political themes in its games.

“Our goal in all the games we create is to make people think,” he says, in an interview with The Guardian. “We want to put them in front of questions that they don’t always ask themselves automatically. We want players to listen to different opinions and to have their own opinions. Our goal is to give all the tools to the player in order for them to think about the subjects, to be able to see things from far enough away.”

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Guillemot concurs with The Guardian‘s phrasing that Ubisoft sees itself as making games that have political themes, but are also politically impartial. So the player is “part of it, you speak with people who have a different opinion from your own, you test different things, so you can improve your vision of that subject – that’s what we want to do. We don’t want to say, ‘Do that, think like this …’ our goal is to make sure, after playing, you’re more aware.”

In a recent trailer for The Division 2, we learn that the antagonists will be a treacherous cabal that emerges from within the US Government. To present such obviously politically charged events without taking a position on them would presumably require quite a contortion – one that many have said Ubisoft has been struggling to pull off in its games lately.

Ghost Recon Wildlands, for instance, presents a version of Bolivia hopelessly overrun by violent cartels whose only salvation is Western intervention. Even if the message isn’t explicitly stated, the implication is clear. It’s no coincidence that both these games are badged with the name of Tom Clancy – a prolific author whose thrillers consistently presented US military and intelligence in a positive light (for further reading on that, see this piece atEurogamer).

After E3, we now know the Division 2 release date (it’s March 15, 2019) and much more, so hit up that link for the lowdown.