Case Study at a Glance
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.
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
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
YouTube, Twitch, Instagram
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.
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.
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.