Civilization 6 is adding a new key mechanic in its next expansion, Gathering Storm, and that's the climate. The ability to control said climate is at the center of the next expansion and the game developers at Firaxis says that rather than a political stance, it's just science.
In an interview with Eurogamer Civilization lead producer Dennis Shirk says Firaxis isn't here to make a political statement. "We just like to have our gameplay reflect current science." But where that might seem like a sidestepping of the "p"-word we've seen studios like Ubisoft Massive pull in the wake of The Division 2, Shirk's statement is still a rebuke to forces who do try an politicize climate change for their own goals.
Scientists have argued for decades that climate change is science and a rapidly approaching truth. Take the recent United Nations report last month that said our planet is heading towards global catastrophe if drastic action on climate change isn't underway by 2030.
At the same time climate change has become a politicized issue, but not necessarily in ways that are easy to parse. The loudest, or at least the most dramatic politicization of climate change are from parties working against environmental protection such as when United States President Donald Trump claimed climate change is an invention of the Chinese "in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
Organizations fighting against climate change and for environmental protections largely echo Firaxis' stance. That climate change is a scientific consensus. As lead designer Ed Beach says, "So we feel we don't have to make a political statement, but we can take the common wisdom of the vast majority of the science community and embed that in the game[.]"
While Firaxis is not taking the side of any one political party over the other, Firaxis is instead siding with environmental advocates by siding with the scientific community on climate change. But in an environment where even acknowledging climate change as a manmade phenomenon is radical, that stance is strong enough.
Check out our review of Civilization 6: Rise and Fall for our impressions of the most recent expansion.