Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has called on game developers to "divorce ourselves from politics." Speaking at the DICE Summit (via The Hollywood Reporter) Sweeney covered a number of contentious issues during his keynote speech.
As well as discussing the roles of games like Fortnite and Minecraft as social media platforms, Sweeney criticised a number of different monetisation models, taking particular aim at lootboxes: "We have to ask ourselves, as an industry, what we want to be when we grow up. Do we want to be like Las Vegas, with slot machines, or do we want to be widely respected as creators of products that customers can trust?"
Sweeney ended his speech, however, by calling for politics to be entirely removed from game development, calling on developers to "get the marketing departments out of politics." Decrying the state of the world via the Chick-Fil-A LGBT controversy, Sweeney said that "there's no reason to drag divisive topics like that into gaming."
"We need to create a very clear separation between church and state [...] we as companies need to divorce ourselves from politics."
It's a ludicrous statement for a number of different reasons. For one thing, a multinational corporation like Epic can't extricate itself from the political models that dictate the way it operates in a number of different countries. More pertinently, however, the Epic Games Store itself already plays host to a number of games that are inherently political, from Ubisoft's The Division 2 and its Assassin's Creed series, to the likes of Phoenix Point and Detroit: Become Human. If Sweeney really wants to get politics out of games, maybe he should start by cleaning house - and consider addressing his estimated $7 billion net worth, too.