The longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended just over a week ago, and many people are not comfortable with joking about it just yet. Ubisoft found out about this the hard way when it faced public backlash for making light of the shutdown in a promotional email a few hours ago.
As reported by Eurogamer, Ubisoft sent out an email promoting its upcoming AAA title The Division 2. While the content of the email itself wasn't questionable, the subject line was "Come see what a real government shutdown looks like in the Private Beta", clearly referencing the real-world U.S. event. While some considered the email "quite funny", many deemed this to be highly insensitive and criticized the company on social media.
Fortunately, Ubisoft quickly realized its mistake and sent out another follow-up email within the hour, apologizing for its oversight:
A marketing email promoting Tom Clancy's The Division 2 was sent in error today. 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 shutdown on thousands of people and did not intend to make light of the situation.
With increasing political tensions and division (no pun intended) in opinion among the public, it's always risky for firms to dive head first into real-world topical affairs. That said, Ubisoft's case is even more ironic considering that it proudly announced that The Division 2 "is not making any political statements" in June 2018. Regardless, the title is slated to launch on Uplay, Epic Games Store, and current-generation consoles on March 15.