The Occupation

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The Occupation
The Occupation cover art.jpg
Developer(s)White Paper Games
Publisher(s)Humble Bundle
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Release5 March 2019

The Occupation is a single-player[1] video game developed by White Paper Games and released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One,[2] and Microsoft Windows on 5 March 2019.[3][4][5][6] The game takes place in a single government building, in real-time over four hours. The game advances with or without input from the player, but almost all in-game actions can affect the game's story.[7]

The game is set in late 1987 within the same universe as White Paper Games' first title Ether One.[8]


The game does not have a health bar or energy system, when the game needs to punish the player it does so by using up the player's time, for example if a player is caught doing something they should not, they are taken to a security office and lose 15 minutes of game time, which shortens the time available to achieve the main aim of the game, obtaining knowledge.[9]


Prior to the start of the game; a terrorist attack has killed 23 people and led the British Government to create The Union Act, a "controversial act which threatens the civil liberties of the British population."

The game's plot starts at 3:27 PM on 24 October 1987.[10] The player character is a journalist that is researching The Union Act, players have freedom of choice on how to act; become a whistle blowing journalist fighting against the act, or do nothing as the game progresses on its own.[7]


The game was developed on Unreal 4[11] and uses dynamic artificial intelligence, which combines scripted activities for the in-game characters, along with deviations to their normal routine based on their in-game requirements or interactions.[12] The developers illustrated this by explaining the actions of a character called Dan, a Scottish Muslim who is a "towering bald man who screams security", he breaks his usual desk based routine, because of his need to pray at certain times, creating a circumstance that the player can take advantage of should they wish.[8]



The game was nominated for "Best Use of Game Engine" at the Develop:Star Awards.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Access • The Occupation". GamesTM. No. 197. Future plc. February 2018. pp. 20–21. ISSN 1478-5889.
  2. ^ Withington, Emma (5 October 2017). "The Occupation – hands-on with the PS4 whistle-blowing adventure". Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  3. ^ Romano, Sal (16 January 2019). "The Occupation delayed to March 5". Gematsu. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  4. ^ Humble Bundle (5 March 2019). "The Occupation on Humble Bundle".
  5. ^ GOG (5 March 2019). "The Occupation release announcement on GOG".
  6. ^ Steam (5 March 2019). "The Occupation on Steam".
  7. ^ a b Priestman, Chris (7 May 2017). "The Occupation and the perils of politics in games". Eurogamer. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  8. ^ a b Donnelly, Joe (28 April 2017). "The Occupation is a politically-charged thriller that pits you against the clock". PC Gamer. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Hype • The Occupation". Edge. No. 317. Future plc. 27 February 2018. pp. 42–43. ISSN 1350-1593.
  10. ^ Wolstenholme, Dan J. "The Occupation". Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  11. ^ Peel, Jeremy (2 October 2017). "Making it in Unreal: how BioShock Infinite's Elizabeth helped The Occupation". PCGamesN. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  12. ^ McAloon, Alissa (24 May 2017). "Balancing unpredictability and order is key for dynamic AI, says The Occupation dev". Gamasutra. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  13. ^ Blake, Vikki (16 May 2019). "Shortlist for Develop:Star Awards 2019 revealed". MCV. Retrieved 20 June 2019.

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