Ubisoft found itself in hot water overnight after sending a promotional email for The Division 2 declaring, in the subject line, "Come see what a real government shutdown looks like in the private beta."
The shutdown has been at the forefront of American politics since December. It's the longest in US history - and it's an incredibly sensitive topic. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees went without paychecks over Christmas because President Trump could not agree with Congress a bill to fund his ridiculous border wall.
The shutdown brought services such as the Coast Guard, TSA, prisons, FBI and many more to their knees. It has temporarily ended now, but the issue is still far from resolved.
'The Division 2 is not trying to make a political statement' - 2018— Skill Up on twitch.tv/skillupyt (@SkillUpYT) February 1, 2019
2019 be like: pic.twitter.com/4xKoRRfryw
Less than an hour after The Division 2 email was sent, an apology landed.
"A marketing email promoting Tom Clancy's The Division 2 was sent in error today," it read. "This was a grave breakdown in process and we apologise for this error and the offensive subject line of the email. We recognise the very real impact of the United States government shutdown on thousands of people and did not intend to make light of the situation."
It's a particularly grievous error for a company at pains to stay out of discussions about politics in its games, despite some of their politically volatile and modern settings - Far Cry 5 in particular. Apparently, being political is "bad for business", a Ubisoft executive said.
Ubisoft's is an increasingly problematic stance given the inherent political nature of Tom Clancy's work - the brand The Division 2 is a part of. "At least he embraced the role of the fiction-maker as an interpreter of the times," wrote Edwin in a piece looking at Tom Clancy's body of work, "as political weathervane rather than pure fantasist."
The Division 2 arrives 15th March on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The beta will run 7th Feb to 11th Feb in the UK, and you can either sign-up on The Division 2 website for a chance at joining in, or pre-order the game, which I never think is a particularly good idea. Anything else you want to know about The Division 2 beta should be covered by a handy page of ours.