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Image: Ubisoft

The lead writer for "Far Cry 6" says the blockbuster game is political, a remarkable change from how top industry creators have historically discussed their games with the public and press.

Driving the news: The upcoming Ubisoft game is set amid guerrilla fighting in a fictionalized version of Cuba.

Why it matters: Game creators and the press have tangled for years over acknowledging that blockbuster games set in controversial settings carry political messages.

"Our story is political," "Far Cry 6" narrative director Navid Khavari wrote in an unusual official blog post late Monday.

  • "A story about a modern revolution must be," he added, saying the action game would include "hard, relevant discussions" about fascism, imperialism, human rights and more "within the context of Yara, a fictional island in the Caribbean."
  • What the game won't do, he wrote, is offer "a simplified, binary political statement specifically on the current political climate in Cuba."

Be smart: Devs for big blockbuster games have been resistant to answering questions about their work's politics, often denying there are any in an apparent and often bewildering attempt to avoid controversy or alienate customers.

  • 2017: The lead creator of PlayStation 4 blockbuster "Detroit: Become Human" downplays the idea that his game about androids trying to be liberated from human ownership might have political messages in it.
  • 2018: A lead developer behind Ubisoft's "The Division 2" says his team's game about a secret citizen army mobilizing against enemy gangs in post-disaster Washington, D.C. isn't intended "to make a political statement."
  • 2021: The publisher of "Six Days In Fallujah," an upcoming game depicting the real and deadly U.S. military operation in Iraq in 2004, says the game isn't making a political point, before later saying politics is "inseparable" from the game.

Between the lines: Khavari’s post appeared to be spurred by controversy over an interview with him that was published on TheGamer.com.

  • In it, he said the game wouldn’t make a statement about Cuba but would “be very open with our politics and inspiration.”
  • That seemed to go further than the norm.

But the interview went viral on social media, where it was promoted as a denial that the game would make any political statement, sans Khavari’s caveat about Cuba.

The bottom line: These conversations are awkward but are part of the medium growing up.

  • They help clarify the effort and intent behind some games.
  • And they challenge players to consider what blockbuster games are and what they can be.

Go deeper

Sep 8, 2021 - Sports

NFL Players Association calls for daily COVID testing for all players

Cleveland Browns Center JC Tretter in Uniform. Photo:Jason Miller/Getty Images

NFL Players Association President and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter in a blog post Tuesday called for daily COVID-19 testing for all players for the 2021 season due to the spread of the Delta variant.

Driving the news: Tretter's call comes after NFL announced that it will conduct weekly tests for players during the season. The league previously said it will cancel games and force teams to forfeit if they have an outbreak.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.