Ubisoft apologize for Watchdogs AD that was be seen as supporting Hong Kong protesters. (Possibly after backslash from mainland China)

vinnykappa

Member
Oct 27, 2017
187
On June 13, massive Hong Kong citizens (reportedly 1 million) took it to the street to protest a bill that would allow criminal extraction from HK to Beijing. They collided with police who deployed teargas and rubber bullets. Here is the story on BBC and CNN.

Ubisoft on the same date released this AD for Watchdogs Legion on Facebook, both in English and in Chinese, with slightly different wording. (translation mine)


The AD could be viewed as supporting HK movement is because of the date, wording, and most importantly, the umbrellas. Since the Umbrella Movement (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_Movement) in 2014 where protestors all used umbrellas to defend against both rain and teargas canisters, umbrella has become a symbol for civil movement, especially against pressure from Beijing.



This time around, protestors also used umbrellas:


The Facebook Ad was distributed by Chinese Weibo users and gamers, and in the comments, they condemn the Ad for having the wrong opinion, call for boycott and firing the community manager who posted the AD because "official account should not express political opinions". Most of them were quickly censored because the whole HK incident is censored on Chinese social media. Here are some highly voted weibo. (Translation mine)



Ubisoft, one day later, released an apology:

 

ezekial45

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,023
They shouldn't have apologized for this. It's incredibly disappointing that they did, and to be real, it totally undermines the game itself. Which is super shitty of them.
 

bluexy

Freelance Games Journalist
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
4,381
Imagine accidentally doing something admirable and deciding it's best to apologize for it. What the umbrella movement has been fighting for is a very worthy cause.
 

Richter1887

Member
Oct 27, 2017
18,460
Man what the fuck is it with Ubisoft?

Sure we heard the whole "both sides/boogie shit" but to bend this far?


Shame on you Ubisoft. Truly.
 

Rukumouru

Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,517
And so, in saying that they wish to remain apolitical in this instance, they have made yet another political statement, except this one's much worse.
 

CenturionNami

Member
Nov 2, 2017
3,197
Fucking cowards. This reminds me of how Steam refused to stand up for the Devotion devs and their organised harassment by Chinese steam accounts and the Chinese government.
 

FF Seraphim

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,779
Tokyo
Stuff like this makes me not want to support Ubisoft. I wish they would grow a backbone when it comes to taking a stand against outright limitations of people's freedom.
 

take_marsh

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,472
They could've just not said anything and it would leave it open to interpretation. They just chose a side and it isn't the right one.
 

Admiral Woofington

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
11,354
There's poetry to the dev of a game dealing with fighting an oppressive government immediately shying away when an oppressive government steps in to complain about an ad.
 

jakomocha

Member
Oct 29, 2017
721
California
As much as Ubisoft has improved over the years, I can’t help but be disappointed that they are so afraid to stand up for what clearly is right and what they seem to believe in but have no backbone to fight for
 

Somnid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,068
The west needs to make consenting to China's bullshit more painful than losing that market, otherwise China will continue to use it's economy as bait to entice foreign investment with the condition of looking the other way as those investments are used to oppress their population.
 

Grenchel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
428
The contrast between their games and what they have been saying on social/to the press is leaving such a bad taste in my mouth.

If you don't want to comment, upset anyone, with your game then stop window dressing (although, in almost of their games its WAY more than that) it with whatever bullshit real people/with real lives are dealing with. It's bullshit.
 

HK-47

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,950
That’s the most Ubisoft thing that’s ever happened. Especially hilarious in the wake of the watchdogs reveal.
 

Loxley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,411
"We don't want our game that rightfully criticizes and demonizes authoritarian surveillance states to piss off an authoritarian surveillance state."
 

Gold Arsene

Member
Oct 27, 2017
23,815
Isn't Watchdogs a series about playing as rebellious hackers?


Guess Chinese money is more important then addhearing to your own series message
 

Bashteee

Member
Oct 27, 2017
470
I assume they plan to earn money on the Chinese market. China enjoys to flex a bit with games and companies that don’t fit some of their politics, so this is no surprise.
 

kmfdmpig

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,932
Apologize to the PRC? Why? Fuck them. They're pure evil and if their defenders (blind sheep or paid shills) are upset then too bad.
 

Reinhard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,621
So cowardly to apologize, very disappointed. The entire point of the game is to go against an authoritarian government.
 

MegaXZero

Member
Jun 21, 2018
3,361
Lol it’s a game about resisting oppression*

*unless it’s the Chinese market and ripe for tons of profit

Could this watchdogs game even be sold in China?
 

kmfdmpig

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,932
Doesn't Tencent only own 5% of Ubisoft? I wouldn't think they'd have a ton of influence with such a small percentage of ownership.
 

kikuchiyo

Member
Nov 9, 2017
332
The Chinese government can start protesting when they close their open air prison camp for Uighurs.

Ubisoft is spineless.