assassin's creed brilliant ideas

Ubisoft’s Transmedia Coup

The Assassin’s Creed world has the potential to be the broadest and most lasting since X-Men. We’ve got all of history to play with, and we’ve only seen a few times and places since the series started in 2007. Games for handheld, mobile, and social have fleshed out the world, as have comics, novels, and short films. It’s big.

Ubisoft gets the transmedia concept better than most. Their FB game Project Legacy is proof of that, giving the player the ability to earn some florins and level up outside of the main game.  Yes, that’s right – do some FB click-gaming to give your console character better stuff.  Bit characters from the main game received storylines of their own, complete with excellent illustrations. Most importantly, AC became an all-day affair, not just something you played on your TV.

Their most exciting transmedia moment to date is the Discover Your Legacy promo app for Facebook. This little number grabs information from your FB account – friends, birthplace, workplace, religious views – and uses them to tie your life into the AC world with a short video. Even if you’re not into the game, I recommend giving it a try to see a fine use of social data. The potential here is vast.

So, what’s next? Mining social data to create in-game content? Customized missions based on your life?

This is the direction in which our world is headed. Get ready.


A Fan Content Proposal

I e-spoke with a very talented illustrator t’other day about purchasing a print of one of her pics.  Trouble is, the image in question not only depicts a scene from a major science-fiction franchise but also includes the most famous text from the book.  So she doesn’t want to sell prints out of fear the Big Copyright Machine will come for her and her loved ones.

The work is there.  There’s someone willing to pay for it (namely me).  Should be pretty straightforward.

I propose a solution: legitimize the sale of art based on existing content.  50/50 split between the artist and the copyright owner.  Somebody draws a bitchin’ Samus and sells it as a T-shirt on Cafepress, Nintendo gets 50% of the sale.  The copyright owner has the ability to cast Cease-And-Desist on anything they don’t like, for example a piece that doesn’t fit with canon or represents the character in a way they dislike.

Does this open the gates for people other than the owner to make money off their content?  Yes.  But it also provides an easy revenue stream they don’t have to do a thing to maintain. Maybe follow up on a few folks to scare ’em.

Do I need to use a buzzword?  How about “crowdsourced”?