Back in 2012 when Far Cry 3 was just a cool whisper on the island wind before it’d be a GotY typhoon, Ubisoft initiated Protocol Pre-Release Hype as big studios like to do because money and fame and bitches. Usually this will amount to a slew of carefully curated hands-on demos and maybe they’ll fly out a savvy media-trained PR rep (groan) or even a ‘community manager’ (wtf) to try to dodge your questions as deftly as possible while aggressively staying on-message. Ubi didn’t do that for Far Cry 3. They sent the game’s lead writer, Jeffrey Yohalem, instead. That, I thought, was awesome. At the time I was writing a bunch for Hyper, and just as I was about to petition them to send me over to talk to him, they’d already done it. “You think you’re a writer too, right?” Totally.
And so while many of my vague colleagues in games writing land also talked to Jeffrey that afternoon, our discussion was a little different, and very intense. He teared up at one point. It was both fitting and lovely, and we became, if not friends (I’m a journalist; you don’t get to be friends with your subjects no matter how much they’ve fooled you into thinking they like you), then people who’d bonded over a shared dependence on words and the catharsis their stories can be. That’s rare, and this interview remains very special to me.