Leaked Far Cry New Dawn cover image flirts with more 'white genocide' controversy

  • 07/12/2018

The cover art of a new Far Cry game appears to be flirting with the same sort of controversy that saw last year's Far Cry 5 labelled a "white genocide simulator".

The 2017 game was unveiled with provocative imagery that appeared to tease a white, southern state USA religious cult arranged to resemble Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'.

In the Far Cry New Dawn imagery - which was leaked before being officially released on Friday - two women of colour brandish projectile weapons and smirk at the camera while a white, half-naked man appears to be screaming while tied to a wrecked car.

It looks as though the women are going to use him for target practice.

After first being leaked on Reddit and Twitter, the image was officially released along with a trailer by Far Cry studio Ubisoft at The Game Awards 2018.

Leaked Far Cry New Dawn cover art.
Photo credit: Ubisoft / Reddit

When Far Cry 5 was first revealed, it was decried as "the most egregious white genocide simulator since Battlefield 1" by William Hicks on Heat Street, a now defunct right-wing US news and opinion website.

"Liberals are tripping over themselves in an orgy of self-gratification at the prospect of shooting potential Trump voters in the virtual space," wrote Hicks.

Several people on Twitter and Reddit echoed his opinion.

When Far Cry 5 was eventually released, the villainous cult was not exclusively white and almost all traces of racial politics were removed from the game.

However, the headlines and controversy its unveiling kicked up may have been seen as good publicity that Ubisoft is potentially trying to capitalise on again with Far Cry New Dawn.

Gita Jackson has written an opinion piece praising the cover on Kotaku.com.

"The racial dynamics of this cover seem poised to make people on the internet lose their minds. Two black women - an undeniably underserved audience of video game players - are implied to be enacting violence on a white man," she says.

"I can't remember the last time I've seen a black woman on the cover of a video game, let alone two of them.

"I've spent years playing as white men and have clearly survived the experience. I just want games that reflect the world that I live in... it's less about representation in media and more about the fact that it just feels ridiculous that so few games acknowledge the existence of black women.

"The characters on the cover of Far Cry New Dawn are unabashedly black. They have broad noses, dark skin, and wear their hair in braids.

"They look like people I know. It's about goddamn time."

But not everyone is over the moon about the cover art. Erik Kain has written an opinion piece for Forbes about it that is less than flattering.

"This box-art just feels like a dud... [it] is cartoony, with pink lettering and goofy looking characters," he says.

"The racial and gender makeup of this box art is largely beside the point in the end, at least in terms of marketing. It's just really uninspired artwork that does nothing to make me excited for this game.

"I'm glad it's not just another rehash of the tough white guy with a big gun, but this isn't any better."

On Reddit, discussion about the Far Cry New Dawn art has included commenters saying it'd be racist if the roles were reversed and accusing it of "pandering to people who don't even play games".

Redditors get mad about race politics on Far Cry New Dawn cover.
Photo credit: Reddit

Ubisoft released the image after unveiling a trailer for Far Cry New Dawn at The Game Awards 2018.

The company also revealed more about the game, confirming it's a sequel to Far Cry 5.

"Set 17 years after a global nuclear catastrophe, Far Cry New Dawn brings players into a wildly beautiful and radically transformed Hope County, Montana," says Ubisoft.

"Life has begun to emerge from the chaos, but the survivors now face a new threat – the merciless Highwaymen and their leaders The Twins, Mickey and Lou. Raised in a lawless frontier, the twin sisters and their band of scavengers live only for today and have descended upon Hope County to take all available resources."

Far Cry New Dawn will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on February 15, 2019.