Ubisoft has told various news outlets that The Division 2, a game where government sleeper agents fight to retake America’s capital from various enemies, is not political. Which is why the company has some real backpedaling to do after sending out a marketing email referencing the recent shutdown of the American government.
As many Americans likely remember, the country just went through the longest shutdown in its history when President Donald Trump and Congress were unable to reach a funding agreement on the 2019 fiscal year. The shutdown lasted for 35 days, and it ended when Trump endorsed a stopgap bill to reopen the government for three weeks to allow for renegotiation. Of course, this implies the government could be heading for another shutdown if both parties can’t agree, so the shutdown is a touchy subject.
Last night, Ubisoft sent out two emails. The first one was an advertisement for the upcoming public beta, which starts up February 7. The message itself was classic advertisement stuff for the public beta, but the subject line said ‘Come see what a real government shutdown looks like in the Private Beta.’
'The Division 2 is not trying to make a political statement' – 2018
2019 be like: pic.twitter.com/4xKoRRfryw
— Skill Up playing #Anthem (@SkillUpYT) February 1, 2019
About an hour later, Ubisoft sent out another email, the subject line read ‘We apologize for the earlier email’ and the message read:
A marketing email promoting Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 was sent in error today. This was a grave breakdown in process and we apologize for this error and the offensive subject line of the email. We recognize the very real impact of the United States government shutdown on thousands of people and did not intend to make light of the situation.
It’s an awkward move for a company that’s trying hard to stay neutral on the political spectrum. There have been criticisms of Far Cry 5’s unwillingness to say much about the social commentary that was hinted at in previews. It doesn’t help that the Tom Clancy brand – which The Division 2 is part of – is inherently political.
The Division 2 releases March 15 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.