Ubisoft gets political with climate change, ocean events in Skull & Bones and Riders Republic

Better late than never.

Image via Ubisoft

For years, Ubisoft insisted that its games didn’t have “political commentary” in their stories and missions. The techno-Fascist world of Watch Dogs would beg to differ in particular, but Ubisoft stuck by its claim. Now that mentality seems to be shifting, as two titles are embracing climate change and other ecological issues in upcoming in-game events.

The long-anticipated is Skull & Bones one of those two games. The pirate life sim still doesn’t have a release date, but we know it’ll include an overfishing event when it arrives. Ubisoft has partnered with Playing for the Planet, an organization that focuses on addressing various ecological issues through video games. As explained on the group’s website, Skull & Bones’ “first activation will address resource exploitation, showing what happens in the game world and the real world when the demand for sharks’ fins results in the overfishing of sharks.” The seasonal event will give players “the choice to contribute to marine wildlife protection and comprehend the destructive nature of the shark fin trade.” Skull & Bones will reportedly arrive in November, and it will presumably be part of Ubisoft’s Gamescom 2022 showcase before that.

Riders Republic’s event sounds a bit extreme, but sometimes shock is necessary for education. As Axios reports, players may log in over the next few months to find the game’s forest on fire. Project Phoenix, as the event is called internally within Ubisoft, will see parts of the forest completely blocked off, implying that it’s not possible for riders to breathe there due to nearby flames. Fortunately, a way to reduce the flames will also be implemented.

It’s good to see the gaming world embrace issues like these with educational in-game events. It’s even better to see Ubisoft, who claimed apoliticism for so long, be a part of the push. If you’re looking to be part of the solution yourself, you can always volunteer or donate to charity. The Shark Trust is dedicated to conserving sharks around the world, and the Clean Air Task Force is one of the most respected groups in the fight against climate change.