Ubisoft once again came under scrutiny when it showed off Tom Clancy’s: The Division 2 at E3 2018, revealing another seemingly politically charged backdrop for the game yet denying that the company is making any sort of statement with its games. The company took the same stand earlier this year when Far Cry 5, which was also placed in a very politically contentious setting, came out.
Other game developers who have released games that have caused people to question their political overtones have similarly denied any political statements in their games. Detroit: Become Human’s David Cage has said his game is “mostly about androids” and Square Enix has repeatedly denied that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was inspired by or related to real world events.
In an interview with The Guardian, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot finally explains the company’s reasoning behind these decisions for their games.
According to Guillemot, Ubisoft truly isn’t out to send a certain or specific political message or statement. Rather, it endeavors to create platforms for people to think for themselves rather than steer their thinking one way or the other. He says in in the interview:
“Our goal in all the games we create, is to make people think. 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.”
The company doesn’t want to make decisions for people when it comes to what they think and what their opinion is on a certain political issue. They want to present differing standpoints and viewpoints, allow people to see more than what they previously did. He adds:
“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.”
Guillemot and Ubisoft clearly believe that it isn’t a game’s role to dictate or present specific points of views to its players. Rather, video games as an interactive and open platform can provide the place and avenue for players to make decisions on their own.