Ubisoft has issued an apology for an advertisement promoting Watch Dogs: Legion in China, which resulted in severe backlash.
As explained by ResetEra user vinnykapa, Hong Kong citizens took to the streets on June 13, 2019 to protest against a bill that would allow individuals considered criminals to be extradited from Hong Kong to Beijing. On the same day, Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs: Legion ad appeared in the region, showing in-game protesters holding umbrellas, with the following caption (roughly translated):
We do not know each other and we never met. But we stand for the same goal and gather here! It is time for us to seize back our city and our future.
Besides the timing of the ad, the umbrellas caused quite a bit of a stir. Chinese users saw the ad as a reference to Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement of 2014, in which protesters used umbrellas to shield themselves from rain and tear gas. According to vinnykappa, the umbrellas then became a symbol for civil movement, especially against Beijing.
This resulted in Chinese users criticizing Ubisoft, with some suggesting that the employee responsible for the ad was taking the company down with them. Others saw the move as an official political statement.
As soon as Ubisoft caught wind of the backlash, it issued the following apology:
A post promoting Watch Dogs: Legion, our newest fictional video game based in London city and announced at E3, was shared recently and may have been misinterpreted due to our omission of the setting being in London. This was never our intention and we apologize for the confusion.
Now, it’s the apology that has users in other parts of the world criticizing Ubisoft for bowing to pressure.
Watch Dogs: Legion will release on March 6, 2020 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC.
This page contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.