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Watch Dogs Legion: Ubisoft defends video game set in dystopian post-Brexit Britain

Watch Dogs Legion
Watch Dogs Legion is a techno-thriller set in post-Brexit London

An executive at French video game developer Ubisoft has defended his company’s decision to set its upcoming title Watch Dogs Legion in a dystopian vision of post-Brexit Britain.

The game depicts a vision of Britain in which automation and artificial intelligence has led to mass unemployment and the pound has been replaced by a cryptocurrency, and the country has been turned into a surveillance state run by a corporation.

Alain Corre, Ubisoft's executive director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that the game did not tell players what to think but said it would allow them to make up their mind on universal issues like technology's impact on civil liberties.

“I think that in every country of the world there are some people who are not happy about the mass surveillance, about some technologies that are damaging their freedom, it’s happening everywhere," Corre said. “So what we wanted to do in Watch Dogs is give players the possibility to be someone different, maybe to experience some new things they’ve never done, to think differently…

“We’re not there to tell them what they have to think at all. What we want is to offer possibilities to explore new ways of behaving, new ways of exploring, and at the end of the day they make their own minds up. What is important to us when we create games is to bring fun and happiness to them. And also if we can bring them some possibilities for them to enrich their life, then we have achieved our mission.” 

Players can recruit any Londoner to the resistance against an authoritarian regime

When asked whether he could understand why a French games publisher speculating on the effect of Brexit on Britain might prove controversial, Corre reiterated the game’s universal qualities.

“I think we are creating a game which gives the player the possibility to react to some things which are happening in this world - and it is happening in every country,” he explained. “We chose London is because it’s a fantastic city with a lot of creative possibilities. It’s one of the nicest cities in the world, as we all know.”

In the interview, Corre talked about the effects streaming technologies like Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud could have on gaming, whether Ubisoft’s imminent PC subscription service Uplay+ will come to consoles, and also what to expect from the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles. He also outlined how Ubisoft intend to achieve CEO Yves Guillemot’s ambition of reaching five billion players. 

You can read the interview with Alain Corre in full here.