With Ubi Forward, BEN Revolutionizes Gaming Industry Events For a Post-COVID Era

02/18/2022

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How did Ubisoft pioneer an entirely new kind of virtual game launch event?

Case Study at a Glance

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Ubisoft is a video game company producing franchises such as Just Dance, Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Far Cry, Rayman, Rabbids, as well as Tom Clancy-branded franchises.

COMPANY LOCATION

Paris, France

WHY BEN

Trusted partner to not only source creators, but also develop an insights-driven and data backed influencer strategy, inclusive of recommended influencer cohorts, content output and allocations by platform

THE BLUEPRINT

Translate live, in-person gameplay events with creators into three virtual Forward events while maintaining security and experience for exclusive, embargoed gameplay content.
Host live watch parties to extend the reach of influencer streams

THE PLATFORMS

YouTube, Twitch, Instagram

company

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 BEN, the momentum of the massive conference was the perfect opportunity to launch games and generate excitement within the creator community about upcoming releases.
But at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything changed. With travel and large, in-person gatherings out of the question, E3 was cancelled. Suddenly, Ubisoft needed a different, virtual avenue for activating its community around new games. And so Ubisoft set out to produce Ubisoft Forward, a series of virtual events designed to translate live, in-person game launches into a digital, remote-attendance format, with three produced to date.
Since their inception, Ubisoft’s Forward events have not been run-of-the-mill virtual gatherings. From delivering top-secret, pre-launch content to creators without compromising the security of sensitive files, to guaranteeing that creators could play the best versions of games at home, there were many challenges to navigate. Throughout the entire planning and execution process, BEN has supported Ubisoft, acting not just as a facilitator of creator relationships, but also as a logistics coordinator, problem solver, and all around strategic partner across multiple Forward events.

The Creator

A Game Preview Event Unlike Any Other

In cultivating creators for Ubisoft Forward events, BEN relies on pre-existing relationships within the gaming industry. For example, to preview the upcoming games Watch Dogs Legion, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Hyper Scape at its first Forward event, Ubisoft provided very specific parameters—creators representing certain titles needed to have experience playing previous related titles. BEN tapped into its network and AI platform to identify these creators and provide data-driven recommendations.
Then, to give creators home access to the game, BEN leaned on the capture system Parsec, which allows users to play games through a proxy server that facilitates high-computing and high-volume gameplay. But the process wasn’t exactly straightforward the first time around. To protect the games’ confidentiality, influencers needed to have passwords and be on a specific Discord server—a detail that allowed them to talk with developers and the Ubisoft team. And, BEN had to ensure that creators were operating on the established synchronized streaming schedule despite being in different locations. There were unexpected troubleshooting needs, too. When disaster struck and footage from four creators became accidentally corrupted, BEN worked with the creators to secure a recapture at no additional cost to Ubisoft—just one example of the integral problem solving role BEN played.

THE EXECUTION

Ubi Forward Forges Ahead

Hosted in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the first Ubi 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.

But this was just the beginning. The first event performed so well overall that Ubisoft has since held two additional Forward events featuring creators like Cory Kenshin, TmarTn2, and AfrosenjuXL. And there are plans to continue hosting these events for the foreseeable future. Creators love participating from home and for Ubisoft, the results across the first three events speak for themselves.

Forward 1: July 12, 2020

3.9M

TOTAL 7 DAY VIEWS – WATCH DOGS: LEGION ANNOUNCE

4.3M

TOTAL 7 DAY VIEWS – ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA ANNOUNCE

2M

VIEWS – HYPER SCAPE OPEN BETA

57K

TOTAL AVG CCV – FORWARD TUNE IN

Forward 2: September 10, 2020

960K+

TOTAL 7 DAY VIEWS ACROSS 9 YT VIDEOS – RIDERS REPUBLIC  ANNOUNCE

17

YT VIDEOS – IMMORTALS FENYX RISING RE-ANNOUNCE

70K+

TOTAL AVG CCV ACROSS 6 TWITCH STREAMS – FORWARD 2 TUNE IN

Forward 3: June 2021

1.1M+

VIEWS ACROSS 11 YT VIDEOS, 3 YT SHORTS, 2 IG STORIES AND 1 TWITTER VIDEO – TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX EXTRACTION REACTION (R6E REACTION)

343K+

VIEWS ACROSS 7 YT VIDEOS – TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX EXTRACTION CORE VIP (R6E CORE VIP)

1M+

VIEWS ACROSS 7 YT VIDEOS – FAR CRY 6 CHARITY SALE

2.1M+

VIEWS ACROSS 5 YT VIDEOS – FAR CRY 6 CREATIVE (PRE FORWARD)

149K+

TOTAL AVG CCV ACROSS 8 TWITCH STREAMS – FORWARD 3 TUNE IN

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