Assassin's Creed: Transmedia Storytelling Around a Video Game Grows Up

On July 26th, 2012, Brenna Hillier contributed a post to VG 24/7 that discusses how the transmedia aspects of Ubisoft's game Assassin's Creed are valued and managed within Ubisoft.

Transmedia storytelling around Ubisoft properties begins with UbiWorkshop, a dedicated licensing group, that has been given the mission to "explore and broaden Ubisoft’s properties without diluting their quality." Under Christophe Grandjean, the product manager of UbiWorkshop, the goal is to treat Ubisoft's properties “not only as games, but as universes which potential we were barely exploiting.”

As Brenda Hillier explains: "When even your t-shirts are contributing to a property’s fiction, you have to be very, very careful you don’t establish canon which will later contradict what another product communicates, or box a team into particular narratives. Ubisoft has a team whose responsibility it is to maintain that everything related to the Assassin’s Creed franchise – the core games, the social and mobile games, merchandise, media and even the upcoming Hollywood film – are accurate, representative, and future-proof."

As Christophe Grandjean of UbiWorkshop explains: “There is a single group, the Assassin’s Creed brand team, which is involved on different levels in all projects to ensure narrative consistency. They make the final call over what is and isn’t canon."

And note how UbiWorkshop's Product Manager approaches the creation (and monetization) of content in the Assassin's Creed and other storyworlds: "Transmedia is not a reaction to a sales phenomenon. Ubisoft is renowned for taking great care of narration in its games (not only in Assassin’s Creed). For us, transmedia is really a way of creating more ways of accessing our universes, and of deepening the experience for those who are already immersed in these universes.”

Thanks to Siobhan O"Flynn for scooping the link to Brenna Hillier's piece.

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