Far Cry 6 creators said it "isn't political". Do you believe they are lying?

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Topcyclist

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Poll Far Cry 6 creators said it "isn't political". Do you believe they are lying? (196 votes)

yes 57%
no 17%
Not sure 7%
None of the above 18%

It's that time of the year again. Games telling a story about something very sensitive and calling it not political. But are they telling the truth? Was Far Cry 5 also not political? Are you happy the game isn't political? What's the consensus on this? For me, I wouldn't care either way and just hope it's good since I like most of em besides 5 but I see why it's so important to let people know the game won't question their stance on something sensitive especially now when things are so hot button. X)

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FacelessVixen

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I'm pretty sure that the standard "views expressed disclaimer" doublespeak is less for the intended audience and more as a deterrent from legal action; kinda like how Ghost Recon Wildlands was about Bolivia's drug cartels while telling Bolivia "No, it's not about your drug cartels" when country officials felt a type a way about that game. Or how Far Cry 5 was basically depicting the Republican party (or all Americans as far as the rest of the world is concerned, rightfully so to an extent) while telling Republicans/Americans "AMERICA! FUCK YEAH! GUNS AND EXPLOSIONS" and "Jesus loves you" when the usual suspects of Jack Thomson disciples and clout-chasing "journalists" got their panties in a bunch about that one.

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Justin258

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This probably belongs here:

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In short, they're probably going to skirt around politics just to give the game some "spice" and then not actually do or say anything interesting because, and you'll have to excuse the vulgarity here, they have no fucking balls.

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mellotronrules

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far cry's gonna far cry.

given the quantity of sequels they've wrung from the concept- it's difficult to elicit any emotions from me at this point. it is pretty fucking lame though that they feel obligated to cherrypick extant socio-political circumstances as set-dressing for their open world mayhem simulator. it isn't doing anyone any favors.

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flatblack

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It's not that they're lying, it's that they're just too scared to get labeled as "political" because a weirdo subset of the audience can't grasp that all art is inherently political

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chaser324

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#5 chaser324  Moderator

I don't think they're lying. They try really hard to make sure their games say nothing of consequence about anything, regardless of whatever politically charged setting they may use.

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imhungry

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#6  Edited By imhungry

They're not lying, they just aren't correct in their assessment of what 'political' means.

Even at the most basic level, the setting and the positioning of one side of a revolutionary conflict as a player controlled protagonist (the good guys) is a political choice. But they aren't acknowledging that and are saying they aren't explicitly making a political statement with real world implications through their plot. Which, again, they probably aren't lying about because they're Ubisoft and they've been doing this for years.

It doesn't make them less incorrect though.

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cornbredx

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I don't think they're lieing.
I think it should be political. The game should be really controversial. That would mean it would be interesting unlike all Farcry games after 3.

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BladeOfCreation

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One has to believe that what one is saying is false in order to be lying. So they're either lying, or they're idiots.

I mean, c'mon. Even the fucking song they used as the background of their gameplay trailer was political! It's literally a parody of politicians talking shit to each other.

This is the same bullshit that the people working for Ubisoft always say. It's not even exhausting at this point. It's just pathetic.

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Humanity

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They’re not lying. They typically go out of their way to be somewhat vague in the places it matters most. The set dressing is there but their games are about as political as the latest Call of Duty.

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Efesell

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I mean they're gaslighting, as always. It's the thing they do with this topic constantly.

They will introduce a ton of charged imagery, knowing entirely what it looks like and what it means, and then tell you to your face that it's not politics we just make video games.

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TheRealTurk

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I hesitate to accuse them of lying only because I kind of doubt these kind of statements get put out by the people who actually make the game. I could totally see the developers setting out to make a statement only for some chickenshit marketing puke to insist a statement like this go out with the ad campaign.

But other than that . . . yeah, it's pretty fucking stupid. I'm definitely not in the pretentious "But all art is political" camp, mainly because that's an intuitively untrue statement. But you want to know things that are, by their very nature, political? Revolutions. Which their entire game seems to center around.

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Reusable-Box

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It is disingenuous of them to say that it's not political. It will by nature of its setting contain some pretty serious political themes. How it handles them doesn't have to be an explicit representation or endorsement about how anybody feels or Ubisoft as a company feels. We are allowed to and should explore uncomfortable and unpleasant themes in a creative work of fiction. We should be able to understand the context and not get outraged specifically because in a creative work of fiction something that isn't totally cool happens.

I think the backlash with Wildlands was misguided personally. I think it's kind of insulting to the general intelligence of everyone to look at that game and think that Ubisoft is trying to tell you that Bolivia is a shithole narco-state and endorsing that as their opinion about Bolivia. It isn't, and like there are obviously some problematic themes in there but also it is explicitly a work of fiction and it seems like games are under a microscope these days in a way that sometimes feels heavy handed. the vast majority of games let you do terrible, horrible, things to all different manner of people. Uncharted/Tomb Raider explicitly has the vast majority of those themes (White person goes to foreign countries, mass murders local population explicitly for the pleasure/joy of stealing their ancient cultural relics) but they don't meet with that same kind of reception. Maybe the ire is partially there because of these types of statements from Ubisoft. I dunno.

Breakpoint has all kinds of problems (If I wanted The Divsion, I would have just played the Division) but being set on Biodiversity Island instead of some version of real geography makes the entire thing less interesting and compelling from the outset. Ubisoft does deserve some derision and much eye-rolling from their mealy-mouthed statements about not being political though.

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Humanity

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#14  Edited By Humanity

I think the biggest misconception here is that Ubisoft typically say their games aren't trying to make a political statement rather than claiming that they're not political period. That much at least is mostly true. I haven't played the FarCry set in "America" but none of their games typically make clear political statements in regards to the real world, or say anything of value really. Their games are political in as much as saying "oppression is bad; freedom is good" your very basic surface level views of the world. It's never as explicit as "Palestinians shouldn't be evicted from their own land" type of on-the-nose commentary.

If the argument is that they should be more direct and should reference real world events then thats a different story. But trotting out the same article about how they don't commit to any one political statement in their fake uprising simulators that FarCry has become is kind of tired and in itself isn't really saying anything newsworthy.

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Shindig

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Yeah, it's always a backdrop rather than an actual narrative.

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tartyron

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#16  Edited By tartyron

Once upon a time. Vinny said on on a video or podcast about the tone of Ubisoft games in general: They have been doing these sorts of games for years and years, how to they keep getting it wrong?

I’m paraphrasing, of course, but the point is that Ubisoft has been a company trying to skirt the line forever, and their stories end up suffering for it. This goes beyond politics too. Look at assassins creed, you never get a straight answer or even much of a plot point to the ongoing story.

In far cry 5, you have enemies that are religious extremist and are coded like a Christian cult, and this means like right wing. It demonizes them, shows they are awful people, But then it turns out they are right in a twist an edge lord 14 year old would dream up.

Ubisoft has one goal: sell the same property to as many people as they can over and over. They do seem to care about the quality of that product in a functional way, but they do extremely little in regards to creating story that says anything for fear it will “lose half their audience” while still putting just a little in to peak all sides interest during the press cycle. And everyone ends up disappointed.

But we keep buying their games, because sometimes we just need a well made shooter or an assassins creed to noodle around with while listening to podcasts. So in their minds, money is the result, and dozens or even hundreds of opinion articles about they’re stupid political flirtations whiteout actually saying anything are just a drop in the bucket.

Tl;dr: Ubisoft Don’t Care.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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#17  Edited By sparky_buzzsaw  Online

The game has a Macarena gun. I for one expect it to ship with a political manifesto and a flag.

And read the interview if you folks haven't. They state the country's based off Cuba but they went a fictitious route to tell their own story.

It would be a no win situation if they went real world and political too. Always going to piss off someone with this sort of thing.

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warpr

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In short, they're probably going to skirt around politics just to give the game some "spice" and then not actually do or say anything interesting because, and you'll have to excuse the vulgarity here, they have no fucking balls.

What I'm curious to know is...

Ubisoft is big for-profit company with shareholders, so obviously the money people don't have balls, because that could hurt profits. Their marketing / PR department knows that there is a vocal minority of gamers who claim to not want any politics in the games they buy, so marketing feels they need to not piss them off. I can understand all of that (even though it's kind of shitty).

But then I wonder if the writers / director on the actual dev team did have something interesting to tell, which then gets dumbed down from above / by focus tests... or if it really is spineless cowards in all layers of the company.

(either way I'm a sucker for Ubisoft style open-world vomit, so I keep buying their games, I'm part of the problem).

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tartyron

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#19  Edited By tartyron

@warpr: When it comes to directors and dev team, blame for compromised products almost never lies with them. The risk-adverse corporate behemoth is not exactly subtle about sticking it's nose into artistic endeavors and watering them down, in games or any form of entertainment. I've seen enough early design documents and alphas that got their wings clipped over the years that I never think that the dev teams start out wanting to make one thing and then voluntarily hurt their vision for the sake of marketing or keeping the corporate brand politically neutral.

That isn't to say there aren't devs that just have bad ideas out of the gate, mind you, and that might be ubisoft to some degree, but this whole 'not political' thing stinks like marketing. And we are talking about it right now, good or bad, so marketing won already.

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Hizang

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They couldn't come out directly and say yes otherwise it would cause some kind of backlash, so yeah it will be.

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cikame

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Yes it will have politics in it, no they aren't being political, yes they shouldn't have to make statements like this to protect themselves, yes nobody should care.

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Pnutz83

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@cikame said:

Yes it will have politics in it, no they aren't being political, yes they shouldn't have to make statements like this to protect themselves, yes nobody should care.

Exactly my thoughts. Sometimes I think they say this shit to laugh about how upset the people at Polygon and Kotaku get.

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asylumrunner

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I don't think they're lying per se, I think they earnestly are not creating the game with any sort of political agenda in mind.

I think the fact that they are setting the game in what is very obviously and basically to their own admission a real place, with real sociopolitical issues, and have stripped away everything political from that real place to basically make a dum-dum playground where morons like me can climb a bunch of towers and clear out camps of bad dudes with guns is, unto itself, a stupid thing to make.

There's an interview with one of the lead developers where they talk about going to Cuba and being inspired by the local "resolver" spirit, basically the general trend in Cuba of things being repaired and reused ad infinitum, because the US trade embargo put a strangehold on the influx of new goods into Cuba so they had to make what they had last as long as they could, and at the end of this story he's just like "and we were inspired by that, so we decided to make a crafting system where you can modify your guns". It's just the lamest shit. Why bother constantly putting your games in politically charged situations if clearly you don't actually want to do anything with them, because actually engaging with the setting would require you to maybe accidentally Say Something.

I know why, it's for marketing, that's why, but it still sucks

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hermes

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I think they are not lying, but only in the sense that they have the PR chip so ingrained they are not aware its speech doesn't resist any amount of scrutiny. They are still too scared to do anything other than the shallowest introspection, so they will still make a contortionist proud trying to engage in a setting without actually engaging in it, mostly as window dressing instead of worldbuilding.

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alistercat

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They aren't lying, they're just wrong.

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Kunakai

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"Far Cry 6 'isn't a political statement' on Cuba"

Is the actual statement I believe you're referring to.

Further context:

"When you talk about guerrillas, you think of the guerrillas in the 1950s and 1960s, we actually went down there to speak to actual guerrilla fighters who fought back then, and we just really fell in love with their stories," Khavari said.

"But we also fell in love with the culture and people we met. 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 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."


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Ryan3370

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#28  Edited By Ryan3370

"It's not a lie...if YOU believe it" -George Costanza

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MrGreenMan

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#29  Edited By MrGreenMan

If you have to come out and say it isn't political then you are taking a political stance. I get not wanting to get your game labeled at political, but anything with violence and saying the game is not political is 100% political in nature. They just want more people to buy their game, that is all. This is Ubisoft after all, they are pretty good at lying to consumers.

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Onemanarmyy

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#30  Edited By Onemanarmyy

What they probably should say at this point is something like `No, we will not depict real-life events and let you play as a cuban revolutionary and make you understand why their fight was justified and hope to instill similar beliefs in our players.`

We can pretty much already say what the story will be like. A videogame-ass story about a few underdog groups that want to grab the power away from an evil dude that knows how to string words together. You as a player do a bunch of shooty shooty jobs, take over outposts, and side with a group eventually. You can't decide to side with the charismatic antagonist of the day that's on the boxcover and end up with a whole different path of missions to do.

However, the idea that you can write about revolutions and guerilla tactics without taking your own politics into it is naturally false. If you learn about the Vietcong setting up all these poisonous Punji stick traps, all sorts of people will feel all kinds of ways about that and would end up with a different story to tell. Just like you can't keep politics away from the applications of white phosporous, nukes or gaschambers.

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VincentVendetta

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I believe it will be completely empty. So, yes, I believe them.

Also can we stop with this stupid debate we have on every single piece of culture that ever comes out nowadays? Yes, in a broad sense, everything is political, but spewing such college-level platitudes does not make for interesting discourse.

Like, we have this same exact conversation with every single Ubisoft release! When will you learn?

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BladeOfCreation

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I wonder if there will be a character who works for the CIA and is there to overthrow the democratically elected government.

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Kunakai

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@onemanarmyy: "What they probably should say at this point is something like `No, we will not depict real-life events and let you play as a cuban revolutionary and make you understand why their fight was justified and hope to instill similar beliefs in our players.`"

That's kind of what they did say but this thread misrepresents the statements made via reductionism.

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Onemanarmyy

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@kunakai: Goes to show that choosing which information you do communicate and don't communicate in a thread is political too.

Here's the interview that this thread seems to be based on.

Someone else could've walked away from that interview with the quote: "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."

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ripelivejam

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I just don't think it's a big deal but I'm guessing it's my patriotic duty as a left leaning US citizen to feel some outrage about anything controversial even insignificant things. But I just don't have the energy, or I just don't feel such controversies apply to all games.

Shouldn't Just Cause be accused of having the same issues?

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Efesell

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@ripelivejam: Ubisoft wouldn't need to deal with this either if they'd shut the fuck up for once. Let the game come out with whatever themes and subject matter it has and at worse that's 3-4 really mean think pieces during the month of its launch and that's the end of it.

Instead of saying the same dumb thing over and over and constantly reminding us of how you keep trying to pull this sort of thing.

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Kunakai

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@onemanarmyy: Even that article is removed from the source.

https://www.thegamer.com/ubisoft-spoke-to-actual-guerilla-fighters-but-doesnt-want-to-make-a-political-statement-with-far-cry-6/

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Kemuri07

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I just don't think it's a big deal but I'm guessing it's my patriotic duty as a left leaning US citizen to feel some outrage about anything controversial even insignificant things. But I just don't have the energy, or I just don't feel such controversies apply to all games.

Shouldn't Just Cause be accused of having the same issues?

Just Cause is marketed differently than Far Cry. Far Cry very much focuses on exotic cultures to shoot your guns at, and the last game came out when right wing terrorism was becoming a bigger problem.

What Ubisoft does is cynically use current day events as the foundation for their games specifically knowing that it will create controversy, or at least gets eyes on their product. And then they immediately use "but we not political" whenever any of the gaming press criticizes them. It's shit.

I'm not outraged. I'm just tired of this happening. It also doesn't help that the Far Cry games have increasingly gotten terrible, with the last game being one of the worst written things I've seen in gaming.

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wardcleaver

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#39  Edited By wardcleaver
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Berserk007

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everything's political........

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antime

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It's the equivalent of a Che Guevara t-shirt bought at Hot Topic.

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NTM

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#42  Edited By NTM

Hmm, well okay, I've only seen the news of them saying that it is political.

Our story is political.

But if anyone is seeking a simplified, binary political statement specifically on the current political climate in Cuba, they won’t find it.

The trailer didn't really pique my interest. It does a great job at making me think it's yet another derivative title. Not that it won't be good, but the trailer was bad at making me care. I really liked Far Cry 5, mainly because Hope County was a great setting, and I liked the soundtrack. I wish the story went a bit further with the cult stuff, either in a more horrific way or a more realistic way, but not so crazy in the end with the world ending.

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Whitestripes09

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They're going to be political all right... Political in making money and making sure not to piss anyone off too much. It's going to be just politically charged enough to get people talking about it, like we are right now.

Ubisoft will never take a stance on a political issue because their investors don't want that risk and don't care what your political affiliation is as long as you buy it.

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voodooterror

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i thought they had said that it was political but not specifically based on cuba?

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someoneproud

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Do I think it'll be 'political'? Yes.

Does it affect my purchsing decision either way? Fuck nope.

Don't really get why this same old song and dance happens around every Ubi release lately, it's a dumb as shit action sandbox, not a NATO conference. Who actually cares if/what they say on political matters?