In the past, many developers have been hesitant to call their game “political” for fear of pushback from parts of the gaming community. Ubisoft has been guilty of that in the past, but following an out-of-context quote that circulated last Friday where Far Cry 6 narrative director Navid Khavari said the team didn’t want to deal specifically with the politics of Cuba, Khavari has come out and said, in no uncertain terms, that the story of Far Cry 6 is political.
Taking to a blog post on the Ubisoft website, Khavari starts the post with a blunt declaration about the politics of its upcoming game. You can read the full, unabridged text from the blog post, titled “The Politics of Far Cry 6,” below.
A story about a modern revolution must be. There are hard, relevant discussions in Far Cry 6 about the conditions that lead to the rise of fascism in a nation, the costs of imperialism, forced labor, the need for free-and-fair elections, LGBTQ+ rights, and more within the context of Yara, a fictional island in the Caribbean. My goal was to empower our team to be fearless in the story we were telling, and we worked incredibly hard to do this over the last five years. We also tried to be very careful about how we approached our inspirations, which include Cuba, but also other countries around the world that have experienced political revolutions in their histories.
In our approach we made sure to seek creators and collaborators for our team who can speak personally to the history and cultures of the regions we were inspired by. We also brought on experts and consultants to examine the game story multiple times over the course of the project to make sure it was being told with sensitivity. It is not for me to decide if we succeeded, but I can say we absolutely tried.
The conversations and research done on the perspectives of those who fought revolutions in the late 1950s, early 1960s, and beyond are absolutely reflected in our story and characters. But if anyone is seeking a simplified, binary political statement specifically on the current political climate in Cuba, they won’t find it. I am from a family that has endured the consequences of revolution. I have debated revolution over the dinner table my entire life. I can only speak for myself, but it is a complex subject that should never be boiled down to one quote.
What players will find is a story that’s point-of-view attempts to capture the political complexity of a modern, present-day revolution within a fictional context. We have attempted to tell a story with action, adventure, and heart, but that also isn’t afraid to ask hard questions. Far Cry is a brand that in its DNA seeks to have mature, complex themes balanced with levity and humor. One doesn’t exist without the other, and we have attempted to achieve this balance with care. My only hope is that we are willing to let the story speak for itself first before forming hard opinions on its political reflections.
Thank you for reading.
Narrative Director, Far Cry 6
A story about a rising revolution in a nation slipping into fascism is ripe for storytelling, but also impossible to tell a meaningful story within the confines of avoiding the political overtones of such a situation. It seems as though Khavari recognizes that, and hopefully Ubisoft will allow the team to fully explore the themes it wants to with this game. Far Cry 6 launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC, and Mac on October 7. For more on Far Cry 6, check out our preview from last week.