Ubisoft Acknowledges Far Cry 6 Is Political In Unexpected U-Turn
Ubisoft has been in the firing line for their approach to their political games for some time now. The publisher has elected to avoid describing their games as inherently political to avoid ostracising opposing fans and excluding players from a connection to their game. It’s a frustrating position to take, as everything is political, right?
It was a point of contention for Ubisoft back in the promotional run for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, a shooter rooted in a world run and designed by the uber-rich and paired with a hyper-advanced military. And now, in the run-up to the release of Far Cry 6, history has repeated itself.
Who Indicated That Far Cry 6 Wasn’t Political?
The initial frustrations began with an article in TheGamer - narrative director Navid Khavari spoke on the story of Far Cry 6, and indicated that it wouldn’t be a political one despite the game’s dedication to the true stories of Cuban guerrilla fighters. “We realised it’s a complicated island and our game doesn’t want to make a political statement about what’s happening in Cuba specifically. Beyond that, we’re drawing inspiration from guerrilla movements around the world and throughout history. For us, it felt like doing the island of Yara would help us tell that story while being very open with our politics and inspiration”.
The trouble arises with the suggestion that a game featuring guerrilla fighters can be non-political at all - the game devs spoke to real fighters about their experience, and to discount their fight by stripping a game about tyrannical leaders, state violence and suppression of the people has rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way. Thankfully though, Khavari has attempted to make this right.
Far Cry 6 Is Political, Indicates Khavari
In an empowered response to fan backlash that the game wouldn’t be able to capture what it intended to if it refused to engage with politics, Khavari comes back to the topic in a powerful statement on the Ubisoft website, that opens simply with ‘Our story is political.’
The statement indicates that the Far Cry 6 team were empowered to be fearless in their storytelling while maintaining a sensitivity that was cross-referenced with the guerrilla fighters they spoke with. Khavari himself suggests that the subject cannot simply be boiled down to one quote, but summarises his connection to Far Cry’s politics with his own experiences. ‘The conversations and research done on the perspectives of those who fought revolutions in the late 1950s, early 1960s and beyond are absolutely reflected in our story and characters. But if anyone is seeking a simplified binary political statement specifically on the current political climate in Cuba, they won’t find it.’
This admission of engagement in political storytelling is a bold one by Khavari and the Far Cry team. Political storytelling and gaming go hand in hand, but fans often decry games for ‘making it political’ despite the fact that global events have influenced the storytelling of the medium for decades. To outright state that Far Cry 6 is involved directly in politics will turn some players away, but it has allowed Far Cry to reclaim its stance and exist as an example that actually, politics belong in video games. It’s clear now that Far Cry 6 has something to say. And thankfully, it isn’t afraid to say it.
Images via Ubisoft