Tom Clancy's "Insincere Populist Uprising Manipulated by Secret Cabal of Chaos Agents"

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ToughShed

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#1  Edited By ToughShed

Ubisofts games continue to be not political, including their upcoming mobile game Tom Clancy's Elite Squad. I'm sure you saw a trailer for the stupid cartoony looking game at some point with Sam Fisher and Ding Chavez. Well turns out the story of the game is that there is a secret cabal behind the scenes controlling a popular uprising. Whoops bad enough they're playing into a few wacky conspiracy theories out there by every white nationalist, but they even throw in the black power fist for good measure.

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Man the absence of politics in the new Tom Clancy's Q Anon Awakening game is comforting.

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Panfoot

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If I'm remember right...wasn't the first teaser for this game Sam Fisher, Division Person, and some R6 Siege characters breaking the very evil villain of Ghost Recon Wildlands out of prison for a team up?

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takayamasama

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I was kinda shocked and laughing my ass off when I found out this was a gacha game, as that trailer during the Ubisoft Next (or whatever it was called) implied none of that, and made it seem like some Overwatch style mobile hero shooter.

I then tried it for a week or so and it's horrible, even by mobile gacha standards. I don't know who swindled someone at Ubisoft to give them money to make this junk, but that person got away with a heck of a heist.

It's a bummer as some of Ubisoft's mobile stuff isn't half bad. I quite liked my time with Assassin' Creed Rebellion

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BladeOfCreation

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Gonna see if Soros will let me expense this game in my monthly check.

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Tanked

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is it about how biden won the primary?

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Gundato

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Yeah. Ubi keeps doing a lot to fuel those "Duh, I know that all game dev studios are bad. Whatever" "Actually, this is a whole lot worse than just crunch..." conversations.

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Gooddoggy

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Isn't "secret cabal manipulates popular movements" the plot of AC: Unity too?

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wollywoo

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That's a big yikes.

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ToughShed

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Isn't "secret cabal manipulates popular movements" the plot of AC: Unity too?

Yeah, but they weren't making the bad guys of the game use an active racial justice movements iconography so wasn't really a big issue for me.

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ToughShed

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#10  Edited By ToughShed
@panfoot said:

If I'm remember right...wasn't the first teaser for this game Sam Fisher, Division Person, and some R6 Siege characters breaking the very evil villain of Ghost Recon Wildlands out of prison for a team up?

Sure was lol. But that fits with a lot of US history... another alternate title - Tom Clancy's: US Backed Death Squad

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conmulligan

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Good God. How did this make it past PR. There must have been someone at Ubisoft who knew how it would play.

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colourful_hippie

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#12  Edited By colourful_hippie

WE GO ONE

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plan6

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I would love to say I'm surprised, but the "heroes" in the Division are a group of super agents who's sole purpose is to be activated by the government to do violence to Americans. The secret police with a cool watch and drones. Everyone loves drones with weapons on them.

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bacongames

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#14  Edited By bacongames

They should have retired this awful brand years ago.

All war games need way more holding to the wall about what they're glorifying and playing into nationalism but Tom Clancy anything is the lowest hanging fruit.

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BladeOfCreation

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Ubisoft heard you and is really, really sorry.

https://twitter.com/Ubisoft/status/1299778491811069954?s=19

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plan6

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I give it like 6 months until we find out that head creative director on the Tom Clancy games is super into right wing bullshit.

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mouryous

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#17  Edited By mouryous

The amount of replies that don't understand why "shadowy cabals secretly controlling social justice movements" is a bad thing made me realize just how easy it is to disseminate far-right propaganda among ordinary people, which is a depressing thought.

I don't even know why the Tom Clancy brand (incl. outside of games) has such staying power.

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plan6

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@mouryous said:

The amount of replies that don't understand why "shadowy cabals secretly controlling social justice movements" is a bad thing made me realize just how easy it is to disseminate far-right propaganda among ordinary people, which is a depressing thought.

I don't even know why the Tom Clancy brand has such staying power.

Just assume they are all bad faith questions, because like over half of them are. There are not many people out there who think "I don't understand this issue, I will ask Brand's twitter account to explain it to me."

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zoofame

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I just assume the heads of marketing at Ubi and Activision have bought Zuckerberg's psychometric data and figured out years ago that their bread and butter are chuds who wanna cosplay tier-one operator and tactically secure the local Taco Bell while waving guns at non-white people.

They've done this song and dance at least 3 times now with a provocative campaign that teases whatever is the major headline that year, only to back away from it and play the "no politics" game. It certainly helps them grab engagement from these dull-as-dishwater franchises.

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ShadyPingu

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#20  Edited By ShadyPingu

Wow. Someone gave the thumbs-up to that pitch, that trailer and that imagery in the summer of 2020. Surprised they didn't just name the evil organization SOROS.

I am increasingly convinced that Ubisoft's catalog adhering to right-wing masturbatory fantasy is not a coincidence, it's because that's who works there.

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Kemuri07

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To be fair most of these kind of games have always been right-wing masturbatory fantasy: you're a (white) dude with a gun going into foreign lands and shooting the natives. I mean I like CoD, but I've always been aware of that stuff.

But yeah, this is Ubisoft being Ubisoft: exploiting political angst for profit. The fact that no one stopped to think "hmmmm. maybe we shouldn't release a game about protestors being secretly fascists taking over the world at a time in which politicians are encouraging violence against protestors" tells you just how cynical Ubisoft is.

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SethMode

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Jesus Christ this is fucking depressing and upsetting. On the bright side, OP, your title at least made me laugh in spite of myself.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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2030’s winner for the 2019 Randy Pitchford Presents Shit Running Constantly Down a Company’s Legs Award.

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ShadyPingu

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@kemuri07: That's fair. One of my favorite Beastcast bits is Vinny, Austin and Bakalar riffing on how The Division is really just a smorgasbord of modern social and political anxieties. The timely, laser-focused nature of this feels uniquely brazen to me, though.

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ToughShed

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@kemuri07: sure, they are glorifying regime change and the war on drugs in Wildlands for example. I think this is a new low clearly though.

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ToughShed

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#26  Edited By ToughShed
@shadypingu said:

@kemuri07: That's fair. One of my favorite Beastcast bits is Vinny, Austin and Bakalar riffing on how The Division is really just a smorgasbord of modern social and political anxieties. The timely, laser-focused nature of this feels uniquely brazen to me, though.

It really is, even where it has like a right wing prepper faction though. The whole game is so silly and all over the place its a little harder to manage to nail down. To me there is this dumb little action movie obsessed kid quality to it where you think about getting in movie shoot outs in every cool museum or national monument you go to that 2 felt obsessed with most.

I guess for me this Elite Squad bullshit is just so on the nose exactly what I see from a ton of right wingers right now and with some actual easy to see terrorism being perpetrated and defended lately, its just getting to be too much to take for me.

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Gundato

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#27  Edited By Gundato

For those talking about "oh, it is just a military game and all of those are bad": This goes a bit above and beyond that. Or maybe it doesn't

This came up in chat during the beastcast (?) for some reason. The early modern CoDs (oy) got a LOT of flak for being "fuck yeah, America" and jingoistic and all that bullshit. But... they really weren't. MW2's villain is a straight up US General who orchestrated WW3 and the Heroic Soldiers are kind of fucking lunatics (Price fires off a nuke). MW1 and BLOPS are very much about interventionist practices making things a lot worse (hell, the antagonist of BLOPS2 is just a guy who goes on an Archer-esque rampage after the military gets his sister killed?). I hear AW continued the theme but I am not watching anything with Spacey in it.

They aren't Platoon or Apocalypse Now but they are probably closer to Michael Bay's Benghazi movie with Jim... in a lot more ways than one.

Because that is the thing. Military manshooters are generally about the protagonists. Yeah, you fuck a lot of things up and it is hard to imagine the world being a better place in your wake. But... what do you call your armies in Total War? or the kingdoms plunged into chaos because you couldn't stop schtupping your cousin who happens to be a witch and is plotting to have you killed by your bishop in Crusader Kings 2? Or all the people who got murdered in the heroic assault on the capital where you reclaim your birthright in EVERY SINGLE FANTASY-ISH RPG?

But there is a difference. Because even if the "fuck yeah, America" was very muted when Jim and Max Martini shot a bunch of people it was still a "ripped from the headlines" Based On A True Story dramatization that focused on the Heroic Mercenaries Who Held The Line To Save The Americans and ignored why they needed saving in the first place. And ignored the fate of all the people who were left behind but were known to have helped the Americans.

Which rolls us up to the nu-Modern Warfare. Full Disclosure, I am basing this off of knowledge of the genre, watching a few videos, and using it to fuel a narrative that will lead into the next point. nu-MW got a LOT of flak for taking a pretty notorious modern war crime, The Highway of Death, and re contextualizing it as the Evil Russians being Evil. It is insanely tone deaf but it is the same logic by which Forrest Gump played a pivotal part in so many historical events. It is almost assuredly some intern who checked wikipedia for famous things that happened in The Middle East and said "oh, that will look really cool in our engine. Let's use it". All while getting that Ripped from the Headlines factor.

Its always fun to mock a certain former staff member (and current Twitch Sensation...) for thinking that MGS was "not political" but... he wasn't fully wrong. Commando is a movie about a squad of special forces/mercenaries overthrowing a government. Kindergarten Cop was about sneaking a heavily armed police officer into a school to capture a kid's dad. MGS1 is about a shirtless blonde guy who failed biology fighting another shirtless maybe used to be blonde guy who might be dumber than Kiryu. Yes, there are definitely themes of interventionism, guns in schools, and whatever Kojima read in the news that week. But they really have nothing to say and just use those as a setting in the same way that Neverwinter Nights 1 was about church intervention in local government resulting in a proxy war where former heroes are executed as sacrificial lambs.

Which brings me to Ubisoft. On the surface, yeah, it is more of the same. Division 1 and 2 are about undercover agents with closets full of guns ready to save the world from chaos. Division 2 very much spins that as militias as you work more with civilians and there is the fucking disgusting opening sequence of "Did you have a gun? your neighbor did". Far Cry 5 "both sides"d the concept of doomsday preppers and then outright said the religious militia was right. GR: Wildlands was The War on Drugs coupled with depicting bolvia as a nation of savages with a whacky religion who all are obsessed with coke. Breakpoint is a bunch of weak willed (ostensibly liberal but really libertarian) tech bros getting overrun by a real man like Jon Berenthal and probably were collaborating (never got that far). And now we have Tom Clancy's Heroes fighting fake protesters who are actually an evil conspiracy that needs to be stopped by The Real Government.

Maybe each of those are also just a few idiots who don't understand context. Maybe they just thought "hey, Ace Ventura raised his fist after beating the shit out of that mascot. We should make that a symbol of the evil conspiracy". Wouldn't be the first time they had some truly reprehensible stuff in a game for the sake of drama (remember Velvet Assassin?). But a lot of what makes me lean toward nu-MW "just being stupid" is that CoD kind of has a history of not "being political" while depicting highly political situations. Whereas Ubi have a history of saying they aren't political while saying that militias, often with religious undertones, that are heavily armed are going to save us when evil government agents, a deep state if you will, overthrow the real government and those militias and The Good Guys are going to stop them and save our freedoms.

It is really hard to give them the benefit of the doubt. And with OTHER shitstorms coming out of there and the knowledge that all those towers were very heavily prescribed by a small number of people... it is hard to really see any other rationale for why they seem hellbent on pushing this kind of right-wing conspiracy bullshit.

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colourful_hippie

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Really like how that tweet from Ubi only mentioned the raised fist being problematic lol. Wtf is going on over there?

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Kemuri07

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@shadypingu:I remember being extremely bothered by The Division and the implications of its narrative.

Like, I"m not one to believe that video games cause violence, but video games don't exist in a vacuum. And I think the nature of video games, to simplify everything to being a target you can shoot at, has the possibility of reaffirming some fucked up views.