×

Ubisoft: Our Games May Avoid Political Messages, But They Aren’t Apolitical

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.”

Ubisoft is holding a world premiere event for its new “Ghost Recon” title on Thursday, May 9 at 11:30 a.m. PDT. It will stream on TwitchYouTube, and the “Ghost Recon” website.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

  • Fortnite Chapter 2

    'Fortnite' Emerges From Black Hole With All-New Island in Chapter 2

    After its previous world was sucked into a black hole, “Fortnite” is back — with an all-new island featuring a map with 13 different locations. The latest installment of the free-to-play battle royale game, which publisher Epic Games calls the first season of “Fortnite” Chapter 2, went live early Tuesday at around 6 a.m. ET. [...]

  • Fortnite-Season-X-Out-of-Time

    'Fortnite' Goes Dark: A Masterful Marketing Stroke by Epic Games

    On Sunday, “Fortnite” — the most popular game on Earth right now — without warning, imploded into darkness. At around 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 13, a meteor in Season 10 of “Fortnite” that had been biding its time set off a cataclysmic chain reaction that sucked up everything on the the island and eventually [...]

  • Hearthstone video game

    Blizzard Reinstates Hong Kong Gamer's Prize but Reaffirms Censure of His Speech

    Major U.S. gaming firm Blizzard Entertainment has reduced its punishment for a professional gamer who shouted a slogan in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. But the company doubled down on its verdict about the inappropriateness of his conduct. In a Chinese language-only message on its official social media, Blizzard stated that it would “resolutely [...]

  • Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Stock Recovers From Hong Kong Fallout

    Activision Blizzard saw its stock recover Friday despite continued backlash over its decision to punish a “Hearthstone” player for publicly siding with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. The company’s share price was up more than 2% Friday, closing at $54.82. Activision had been in the spotlight ever since Ng Wai Chung, a player of its “Hearthstone” [...]

  • Mixer Co-Founders Leave Microsoft's Twitch Competitor

    Microsoft’s Mixer Streaming Service Loses Its Two Co-Founders

    Microsoft’s Twitch competitor Mixer has lots its two co-founders: Both Matt Salsamendi and James J. Boehm, who co-founded the startup that eventually became Mixer in 2011, have both left the company over the past 2 weeks. The departure comes just a few weeks after Mixer poached famed video game streamer Ninja from Amazon’s Twitch. Salsamendi [...]

  • Trump-Twitch-channel

    Donald Trump Is Now on Amazon's Twitch Streaming Service

    Donald Trump has joined Twitch, the game-focused live-streaming service, apparently in an effort to widen his unfiltered 2020 reelection messaging as the embattled U.S. president faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry. Trump’s first Twitch broadcast was from his campaign rally Thursday in Minneapolis, where among other targets he lashed out at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Somali [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content