Ubisoft’s #UbiE3 2019

Edgar Nava

Ubisoft’s UbiE3 2019 packed the Orpheum Theatre to capacity with fans, celebrities, and E3 hype. Located in Downtown Los Angeles and opened in 1926, the Orpheum Theatre is no stranger to well-known performers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and HIM. Ubisoft not only unveiled anticipated titles for the Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy franchises, but also new IPs such as Gods & Monsters and Roller Champions. Lastly, we got a sneak peek at the Assassin’s Creed Symphony, an upcoming Netflix series titled Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, and details on Ubisoft’s Uplay+ . Image Credit: Ubisoft If Ubisoft’s goal today was to go straight for our feels, then they got us. Ice-T *clears throat* broke the ice with his hilarious, yet mildly-serious, Rules of Gamer Etiquette which squarely took jabs at toxicity within the video game community. We’d continue further but we genuinely wouldn’t do it justice, so instead, we implore you to find his monologue online. What we will say is that toxicity is a tangible and seemingly common issue within the gaming community that companies such as Ubisoft are actively working to mitigate (do you remember when Blizzard removed the ability to respond to opponents with gg ez in Overwatch? We do). The Assassin’s Creed Symphony, which is comprised of an 80-piece orchestra, was paired with a montage of the franchise’s various cinematics and gameplay. We cannot describe The Assassin’s Creed Symphony performance in any way other than as a visually striking melody for the geeky soul. If you’re into video game symphonies, or symphonies in general, we’d highly recommend you check them out. The Assassin’s Creed Symphony 2019 tour begins June 29th in Paris, France but will return to Los Angeles November 10th. Image Credit: Ubisoft Arguably the most positively received announcement was that of Watch Dogs: Legion. Set in an Orwellian version of the city of London, the third Watch Dogs installment is an ambitious addition to the franchise. The game’s creative director, Clint Hocking, revealed that his team has scripted every single NPC in the upcoming game to be playable. Most surprising is that each of these NPCs can permanently die, so choose your future Resistance teammates wisely and don’t forget to use cover and concealment. We’re particular to a whole team of Helen’s, who is one of the playable NPCs found in-game, because who would suspect a sweet granny? Obviously, no one. Image Credit: Ubisoft Rob McElhenney took the stage to announce that Ubisoft has partnered with the It’s Always Sunny team to create an upcoming Netflix series titled Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. As of right now, details are scarce but the series stars Rob McElhenney as an egotistical creative director for the world’s most popular fictional MMORPG. The show is set to debut on Apple TV+ but an official date has yet to be announced. Image Credit: Ubisoft Jon Bernthal, most recognized for his roles in The Walking Dead and The Punisher, spoke about his role in Ubisoft’s upcoming tactical shooter, Tom Clancy’s … Read More

Chris Early at Los Angeles Games Conference

Michael Farzinpour

We recently attended LA Games Conference and got a chance to sit down with Chris Early, Vice President of Partnerships and Revenue at Ubisoft after his talk about The State of the Game Industry, and here’s what we learned: Chris and I talked about the different online scamming methods used to target gamers. In general, these scamming methods extract private information or compromise user accounts. These security breaches may affect someone’s ability to access their library or possibly even lead to fraudulent charges. Chris spoke to me about one of the steps Ubisoft is taking to safeguard our games; silent key activation. Early views Ubisoft’s development of silent key activation as a successful security measure to combat these scams. Ubisoft partnered with Genba Digital to develop silent key activation, which activates video games on platforms like Steam or Uplay automatically rather than giving out physical licensing keys to retailers and customers. When an individual buys Ubisoft games through an online retailer, the company’s servers communicate with each other, entitling the person’s Uplay account with the game automatically. As a result, the consumer does not have to memorize a licensing key and gains instant access to their respective video game library. Although no industry will ever completely remove fraud, Early views silent key activation as a step in the right direction. It’s no surprise that Ubisoft is partnering up with Google’s upcoming streaming service; Google Stadia. When asked as to why Ubisoft partnered with Google as opposed to other streaming companies (e.g., Microsoft, Sony, and Amazon), Early stated that Ubisoft has worked with Google for many years because Google’s excellent infrastructure has enabled Ubisoft to bring different games to trial; that said, Ubisoft is open to working with other streaming companies. He believes that modern streaming services provide publishers and developers with access to an audience size that would have otherwise been unlikely in the past. This potential audience provides companies like Ubisoft a reach that would typically not be possible on their respective desktop launchers or online stores. Streaming games also alleviates some of the more traditional hindrances associated with video games. For example, in order to play games at all–regardless of the platform–you need a physical hardware to do so. With Google Stadia, your screen of choice becomes the platform while Google Stadia does all the heavy lifting, processing-wise. This is often referred to by industry experts as screen agnosticism, which is kind of a big deal. As a result, gaming companies sometimes experience more than a 20 percent increase in purchases of their games. Ubisoft’s role as an industry leader has never looked better. Gaming companies might need to make sure that they are not making the purchasing process of a game too complex while combating piracy. For example, creating a complex purchasing process may frustrate consumers and might make them stop buying games from that company. References Ubisoft is trying to wipe out key reselling with ‘silent key activation’. Fortnite Scams Are Even Worse Than You Thought. … Read More