Ubisoft has apologized for an email it sent out to customers that referenced the recent United States government shutdown. It's a strange political reference for a game its developers have been pushing as apolitical.
The government shutdown was initiated in December and went on to become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The full-scale of the damage done by the shutdown is not yet known, but reports have chronicled the damage to furloughed employees and their families. Organizations such as the TSA and FBI were crippled, and it's not yet known whether or not employees will receive back pay for their lost hours.
So it wasn't particularly well-received when Ubisoft sent out an email for The Division 2's upcoming private beta which asked players to "Come see what a real government shutdown looks like in the Private Beta." An hour later Ubisoft sent out an apology email.
'The Division 2 is not trying to make a political statement' - 2018 2019 be like: pic.twitter.com/4xKoRRfryw— Skill Up on vacation (@SkillUpYT) February 1, 2019
"A marketing email promoting Tom Clancy's The Division 2 was sent in error today," Ubisoft writes in the follow-up email. "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 shut down on thousands of people and did not intend to make light of the situation."
It's particularly strange that the email was sent out for The Division 2. The developers on the project have gone to great lengths to reaffirm The Division 2 as nonpolitical, even with its themes of armed government combat in the United States capital. Ubisoft Massive's COO went as far as to say that being political was "bad for business."
The Division 2 is also part of Tom Clancy's brand, an author who is very vocal about his political leanings in public. Ubisoft has been working hard to disassociate The Division 2's settings, themes, and brand from United States politics, but seemingly overlooked the shutdown reference in its email promotion.
The Division 2 launches on March 15 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The beta is scheduled for February 7 to 11, and is open to anyone who registers online or pre-orders The Division 2.
Check out our The Division 2 guide for our latest coverage including news, previews, and more.