Ubisoft is a leading video game company known for its innovative and immersive titles. With a focus on cutting-edge technology, Ubisoft has created some of the most successful games of all time, including Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Rainbow Six. Their commitment to innovation is evident in their use of virtual and augmented reality, as well as their incorporation of artificial intelligence into their games. As a result, Ubisoft has become one of the most respected and beloved game companies in the world, continually pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in gaming.
Twitch, YouTube, Instagram
7-Day Views - Watch Dogs: Legion Announcement
7-Day Views - Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Views Across Five Videos - Far Cry 6
Over Twitch CCV goal
The big question
How Does a Tentpole In-Person Video Game Event Get Even Better As an Online Only Affair?
A Pandemic-Era Game Launch Event
For years, E3 has been the biggest event in the gaming industry, bringing together game developers, designers, players, and creators under one roof to experience the latest and greatest in video gaming.
For Ubisoft and its influencer marketing partner BENlabs, the momentum of this massive conference was the perfect opportunity to launch games to generate excitement within the creator and gamer communities.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, everything changed. Travel and large, in-person gatherings were canceled, and E3 with them. Suddenly, Ubisoft needed a different, virtual avenue for activating its community around new games.
Ubisoft set out to produce Ubisoft Forward, an owned, virtual event designed to capture the excitement and exclusivity of its in-person events, translating live, in-person game launches into a digital, remote format. In so doing, it created a hugely successful virtual event that lives on to this day.
Ubisoft Forward events are not run-of-the-mill virtual gatherings; they’re a rare chance for content creators and other gaming VIPs to access awesome Ubisoft games before they’re released. Ensuring the security of Ubisoft intellectual property (IP) is a key consideration.
Getting Smart to Find the Perfect Content Creators
Ubisoft provided very specific parameters for creators to be a part of the Ubisoft Forward program. For example, creators needed prior experience with specific previously released Ubisoft titles in order to be considered as a creator for a sequel or related title. BENlabs tapped into its network and its AI Smart Creator Matching tool to find the perfect content creators.
Smart Creator Matching AI mines BENlabs’ proprietary and ever-growing database of more than 13 million qualified, verified content creator influencers from micro to mega. It surfaces and stack ranks creators who don’t just fit a profile, they align with campaign goals and brand values.
Adapt and Overcome
The biggest challenge for the inaugural Ubisoft Forward event was logistics, specifically making it easy for creators to play and stream their experience with unreleased games while maintaining security around valuable IP.
BENlabs brought in Parsec as a partner to allow VIPs to play seamlessly through a proxy server without installing the unreleased games on their own computers. This didn’t just ensure the security of Ubisoft’s valuable IP, it simplified logistics.
BENlabs had to ensure that creators were operating on the established synchronized streaming schedule despite being in different locations. Live events aren’t always smooth sailing; when footage from four creators was corrupted, BENlabs stepped up quickly, working with creators to recapture footage at no additional cost to Ubisoft.
A Great Idea that Keeps Getting Better
Hosted in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the first Ubisoft Forward event blew Ubisoft’s expectations completely out of the water, with the Watch Dogs Legion preview delivering almost 4 million views — nearly half a million more than predicted. “Forward Tune In,” a watch party hosted via Twitch to extend the reach of creators’ streams, also exceeded view goals by over 8,000 CCVs.
The first event performed so well that Ubisoft followed it up with two more Ubisoft Forward events featuring creators like Cory Kenshin, TmarTn2, and AfrosenjuXL.
With creators participating with their own gaming machines and viewers tuning in all around the world, Ubisoft Forward online events are now a tentpole event on gaming calendars themselves.
Adapt and Overcome
While travel and gathering restrictions due to COVID-19 forced the event online, it was a can-do attitude paired with ingenuity, careful planning from both parties, and of course BENlabs AI and industry expertise, Ubisoft was able to pivot and Ubisoft Forward was set up for success.
By adapting to the situation and finding innovative solutions to give gaming creators access to unreleased IP, Ubisoft and BENlabs together offered proof positive that an online gaming event could draw crowds that not even the 720,000 sq. ft. Los Angeles Convention Center, home of E3, could hope to hold.