Ubisoft games are not apolitical in spite of avoiding making explicit political messages, says Vice President of Editorial at Ubisoft Tommy Francois.
In a blog posted on Thursday, Francois took to the official Ubisoft website to clarify the company’s position on political statements, writing that while Ubisoft games are often inspired by real-world people, places, politics, and issues affecting society, the aim is ultimately present a “360-degree view of life.”
“…Our goal is to give players all the information we can, and then let them choose which sides of our game worlds they want to explore. We want them to decide what they like, what they don’t like, and if and how to change their minds or the way they play based on that information. It’s about more freedom for the players.”
“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,” he said. “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 taken heat recently for its reluctance to offer a clear political message in its game, from the post-apocalyptic America of “The Division” to the religious cults of “Far Cry 5.”
Responding to a question of whether there are any lines the company won’t cross or points of view that are not worth exploring, Francois says generally speaking no. “As we are building the game, in most instances, there tends to be self-censorship that we actually fight,” Francois said. “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.'”
“We believe that ultimately, in the future, players should be able to go in the game world, have as many different experiences as they want, experience as many different political views as they want, as many religions as they want … as many different fantasies as they want.”