HELENA, Mont. – The latest release of a major video game series will be set in Montana and promoted with video shot near Poplar, bringing Big Sky Country to millions of consumers worldwide.
“Far Cry 5” will take place in fictional Hope County, Montana. Players will have a large game world to explore while fighting off a hostile occupation of the county. In between the action, players will get a taste of Montana’s outdoor recreation with hunting and fishing challenges.
“We know from the film industry that movies can be some of the best tools available for promoting a destination, but the interactive nature of video games represents an exciting opportunity we’ve never quite had before,” said Montana Film Commissioner Allison Whitmer. “Audiences around the globe not only will see Montana, they’ll experience it virtually.”
The “Far Cry” series is published by Ubisoft, which is also known for “Assassin’s Creed” and several franchises branded under the Tom Clancy name. Since 2004, sales of “Far Cry” games have reached more than 42 million.
Although usually set in exotic, foreign locations such as the Himalayas and a fictional African country, “Far Cry 5” will be the first entry set in America. It’s scheduled to be released in February 2018.
A spokesperson for Ubisoft said Montana was a natural fit for the series because of its diverse landscape and the “do-it-yourself” attitude of its people. The developers visited several times to shoot thousands of photos and interview residents.
A Belgrade location scout identified a church near Poplar where promotional video for the game was shot. The crew employed three people from Montana. Between labor and other expenditures related to the production, the shoot is estimated to have generated $20,000 for the Poplar economy.
But the greatest impacts may be yet to come, as audiences from around the world experience Montana through a digital lens.