Ubisoft apologized for an advertisement promoting Watchdogs: Legion in China, which has caused serious repercussions.
As explained by vinnykapa, ResetEra user, Hong Kong citizens took to the streets on June 13, 2019 to protest a bill allowing the extradition of people considered Hong Kong criminals to Beijing. The same day, the brand Ubisoft Watchdogs: Legion An advertisement appeared in the area, showing protesters wearing umbrellas in the game, with the following caption (coarse translation):
We do not know each other and we never met. But we defend the same goal and we gather here! It is time for us to take back our city and our future.
Besides the timing of the advertising, umbrellas made a lot of noise. Chinese netizens saw the advertisement as a reference to the 2014 Hong Kong umbrella movement, in which protesters used umbrellas to protect themselves from rain and tear gas. According to Vinnykappa, umbrellas have become a symbol of the civil movement, especially against Beijing.
This prompted Chinese users to criticize Ubisoft, with some suggesting that the employee responsible for advertising took the company with them. Others saw the move as an official political statement.
As soon as Ubisoft heard of the reaction, he offered the following excuses:
An article promoting Watch Dogs: Legion, our latest London-based fiction video game announced at E3, has been shared recently and may have been misinterpreted due to our failure to be in London. That has never been our intention and we apologize for the confusion.
It is now the excuses that drive users in other parts of the world to criticize Ubisoft for complying with the pressure.
Watchdogs: Legion will be released on March 6, 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia and PC.[Source: Ubisoft via ResetEra]