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Far Cry 6 continues Ubisoft’s complicated relationship with political themes

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“It wasn’t that we felt we had to do Cuba, we realized it’s a complicated island and our game doesn’t want to make a political statement about what’s happening in Cuba specifically.”

– Narrative director Navid Khavari shares a look at where Far Cry 6 both does and doesn’t borrow from reality.

Outwardly, with game series like The Division, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry, Ubisoft seems to set many of its biggest games and stories against a backdrop of real-world politics. However, the company is always quick to note that its fictional takes on the real world aren’t intended to comment on the real-world events and history in which they are steeped.

This came up in 2018 ahead of the launch of The Division 2, and Ubisoft’s stance on political themes is in the headlines once again thanks to an interview published by The Gamer about Ubisoft’s upcoming game Far Cry 6 today.

Speaking to The Gamer, narrative director Navid Khavari explains that the team took inspiration from guerilla warfare in the ’50s and ’60s when designing the world of Far Cry 6, so much so that they traveled to Cuba to speak with fighters that participated in those conflicts. But Khavari tells The Gamer that those influences are simply inspiration, as the team isn’t keen to comment on real-world conflicts and history.

We also fell in love with the culture and people we met,” Khavari tells The Gamer. “When we came out of that, it wasn’t that we felt we had to do Cuba, we realized 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 guerilla movements around the world and throughout history,” he continues. “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.”

Khavari touches more on this in the full interview, adding that revolution is a complex theme, and Far Cry 6 aims to illustrate the complexity found throughout the world and people involved with it.

But his comments do follow a long history of Ubisoft studios creating games with political themes while arguing that the games are never intended as political commentary. Going back to The Division 2 example from 2018, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillermot argued that the studio aims to provoke thought rather than make outright political statements with its games.

That specific comment seems to line up with what the Far Cry 6 team is aiming for this time around as well. However, Ubisoft has also gone on record to say that its desire to avoid politics is more about the company’s bottom line as games that wear their politics on their sleeves are “bad for business, unfortunately, if you want the honest truth.”

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