Target: Ubisoft, developer of the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist video game
Goal: Praise Ubisoft for removing a highly controversial torture scene from upcoming video game Blacklist
During last year’s E3 video game conference held in Los Angeles, Ubisoft unveiled the newest entry in its long-running Splinter Cell video game series titled Splinter Cell: Blacklist. The debut was accompanied by a comprehensive walkthrough video that was meant to show off some of the game’s new features. In one part of the video, the player-controlled character sneaks up on an enemy, plunges a knife into his body, and is given the prompt to “move and hold to interrogate.”
What Blacklist developer Ubisoft intended to be a gritty and edgy display of interrogation ended up having the exact opposite of its intended effect. Many attendees felt disgusted and angered including fellow game developer Tom Bissell who made a public statement shortly after the demo’s E3 showing: “I left the Blacklist demo sick and infuriated. I spent a couple days feeling ashamed of being a gamer, of playing or liking military games, of being interested in any of this disgusting bulls**t at all.”
While Bissell’s was just one of many such statements made following the E3 showing of Blacklist, his was especially poignant considering he helped write and develop the upcoming shooter game Gear of War: Judgment, the latest in the Gears of War series that is infamous for its ultra-violent gameplay.
During a Ubisoft press event that was held last week in Paris, Blacklist producer Andrew Wilson told journalists that the torture scene has been removed from the game; “That scene is not there anymore. I’ve not really heard anyone say they loved it.”
While some may think the removal of the torture scene will hurt the game’s core essence of espionage, intrigue, and action, many more are surely glad that it is gone. Ubisoft’s Blacklist development team should be praised not only for listening to critics’ feedback and taking it to heart, but also for combating the disgusting notion that torture is a viable means of extracting information.
Dear Ubisoft Splinter Cell: Blacklist development team,
Thank you so much for choosing to remove the highly controversial torture scene from your upcoming game. I know how disheartening it must have been to receive so much negative feedback following Blacklist’s debut.
Despite all the criticism, your willingness to reconsider the torture scene’s value to the rest of the game’s narrative only shows how devoted and understanding you are to the gaming community. I hope future game developers will look to your actions as guidance if and when they face such controversy themselves. It’s never easy having to reshape your vision in the face of adversity but I’m glad you chose to opt out of making the easy choice.
[Your Name Here]