Ubisoft has ditched the traditional ‘fire and forget' model for its latest triple-A release – and reckons that a new Assassin's Creed movie and book can help drive sales of the game sequel.
Assassin's Creed II was released last week, and shot straight to number two in the UK All Formats chart – held back from number one only by the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sales juggernaut.
Publisher Ubisoft is tipping the game for long-term sales success – like its eight million-selling predecessor – thanks to brand extensions. These include a new spin-off novel published by Penguin Books and a self-produced Assassin's Creed: Lineage movie that debuted on YouTube to millions of viewers.
According to brand manager Jan Sanghera, having the book available in stores and the short films available online can help increase game sales and keep the title high in the minds of gamers.
Releasing the book and film helps to enrich our product offering,” she told MCV. They help to increase awareness and interaction with the Assassin's Creed franchise.”
The AC: Lineage movie debuted first in smaller episodes on YouTube – getting 1.7 million views in just 24 hours – and the full 40 minute piece, which mixes live action with high-end CG, went live just before the game arrived in stores. The film was made by Hybride, a special effects studio Ubisoft bought last year.
Assassin's Creed: Resistance, meanwhile, was published yesterday by Penguin – and Ubisoft and Penguin are already looking at how retailers can cross-promote and sell both products.
Sanghera told MCV that Ubisoft is considering how it can internally create new ways to grow the source material for all its properties – which means more movies: Assassin's Creed: Lineage is Ubisoft's first film project.
However, as mentioned, the company has ambitions to become an entertainment provider. Therefore, we hope to explore other media options and may potentially use cinema for future projects.”