DrinkBox Co-Founder on Politics in Video Games: ‘There Are Good Reasons To Not Do That’

It’s refreshing to find, once in a while, a developer — albeit a member of the team — that refuses to try and intertwine video games and politics (to be more specific, politics pertaining to current affairs at present) — a nice alternative from the ample noise and nonsense that usually takes away from the main focus of our beloved interest and industry, with a studio deciding on one thing only: focusing instead on simply making their game the best it can be. Something which DrinkBox Studios look to have achieved with their recently-released sequel to the beloved 2013 Metroidvania-styled title, Guacamelee!

In an interview with GameRevolution, DrinkBox co-founder Graham Smith was asked about Guacamelee! 2’s early, solitary reference to current US president Donald Trump. “We also discussed that: ‘Should we talk about U.S. politics at all?'” Smith explains. “There are a couple pretty good reasons to not do that. I think one is that you don’t want to alienate any potential part of your audience and we don’t want to be known as a Trump-bashing studio or anything like that…we just decided that we were not going to talk about it all.”

For an industry, particularly corners of the Western share, making increased strides year-after-year to implement (forcibly or otherwise) current social, cultural and political subject matter of a given leaning into game development — where, some will argue, it isn’t necessary — it’s easy to forget that a vast majority of video game enthusiasts and consumers (regardless of their political leanings, let alone level of involvement in general discussion) prefer for video games to stay as far away from current, real-life affairs as possible. As our own motto states: no nonsense, just games. Guacamelee! 2 is out now for PS4, Xbox One & PC.