Just days before the private beta release for The Division 2, Ubisoft has already needed to apologise to their community due to an incredibly insensitive email sent out in hopes of promoting the game.
The Division 2, set to release on March 15, 2019, is a third-person shooter set in a dystopian Washington, D. C. after a governmental collapse due to terrorism. It can therefore be said that a large amount of the content will be themed around political contexts pertaining the government, hence some level of caution must be observed when dealing with these topics.
Yet, in a shockingly oblivious move made by Ubisoft, a promotional email for The Division 2 was sent out to their fans, stating “Come see what a real government shutdown looks like in the private beta” – days after the United States had ended their own federal government shutdown, which they are still recovering from.
With over 800,000 federal employees furloughed and left without paychecks and some working without any form of compensation amidst other socio-economic problems, it is difficult to overstate the severity of this incident.
This mistake will probably not affect sales of The Division 2 too much
Ubisoft’s promotional email has therefore resulted in backlash, both about the insensitivity of Ubisoft itself, and questions about the possible political statement that they appear to be making. Fortunately for Ubisoft, they have swiftly followed up their first email with an apology, citing a “grave breakdown in process” in constructing the email and calling it an “error”.
Although this mistake will probably not affect sales of The Division 2 too much, this event is certainly one that Ubisoft would do well to learn from, especially when developing games like The Division 2 or Far Cry 5 which run rife with political ideologies.