Back in October, Ubisoft made the bold claim that it was actively avoiding becoming “openly political in [its] games,” specifically referring to The Division 2. As Ubisoft Massive COO Alf Condelius put it, “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. […] It’s also bad for business, unfortunately, if you want the honest truth.”
It seemed an odd statement at the time, given the setting and situation is overtly political, and it made for some eyerolls. It’s an even odder statement in light of an email Ubisoft sent round last week. “Come see what a real government shutdown looks like in the private beta,” the headline blared. Yikes indeed.
Anyhow, Ubisoft has since apologized, not so much for contradicting itself but for offending people whose very real health and livelihoods were very much affected by the very real shutdown and likely will be again. The apology claims the note was “sent in error” and constituted a “grave breakdown in process”: “We recognize the very real impact of the United States government shut down on thousands of people and did not intend to make light of the situation.”
The private beta itself begins next week on February 7th.