In this article, we'll be looking at the Marketing Campaign for Assassin's Creed Origins, which has arguably been the strongest for an AC Product in many years. I've personally been very impressed with how Ubisoft have promoted the game, so this article will look at the highlights (good+bad).
May 16th 2017: In the beginning:
The Assassin's Creed Social Media Channels revealed that "The Assassins would soon be stepping out of the shadows", suggesting that we would finally get to see the highly anticipated game, believed to be set in Ancient Egypt (Leaks+Speculation)
Another Tweet made it clear that the reveal would be at E3 2017, and that we could subscribe to Ubisoft US on Youtube to stay updated.
The reveal of the Yellow and Green Logo led to many members of the Assassin's Creed Community changing their Profile Picture.
We here at The Ones Who Came Before recognised the hype around the image, and joined the trend.
June 2017: Assassin's Creed Origins Officially Revealed at E3 2017.
World Premiere Gameplay Trailer shown at the Microsoft Conference.
Ubisoft Conference: Ashraf Ismail reveals that he is the Game Director on Assassin's Creed Origins, and that the game would be playable at the Ubisoft booth for those at the event.
Promo images released
E3 Coliseum: Ashraf does a Walkthrough and Q+A.
Assassin's Creed Origins wins the GamesRadar+ Best of E3 Award.
June 11th 2017: Game Informer reveal on Social Media that the Cover for July issue will feature Assassin's Creed Origins.
June 12th 2017: Editions of the Game and Figurines revealed, available for pre-order at the Ubisoft Store
12th June: Games Radar begin their coverage of AC Origins
Access the Animus (AC Fan Community) Translation: "We work in the dark to serve the light. Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Ra, protect me and grant me perpetual wealth. Help us possessing fertility along with remuneration. May no offspring escape their share of wealth. May you endlessly triumph and go forth."
The item turned out to be an Assassin's Creed Origins Hoodie.
4th August: Life-sized Assassin's Creed Origins and obstacle course available at ICBC (Asia) E-sports and Music Festival Hong Kong:
6th August: Assassin's Creed Origins was playable at Festigame 2017
11th August 2017: Ubisoft release The Codex Ep. 6: Assassin's Creed Origins Dev Interviews, Community Programs, & Fan Creations!
17th August: Ubisoft released the first episode of a series titled "Dev Q&A", featuring Game Director Ashraf Ismail, and focussing on Combat.
20th August 2017: Gamescom 2017
The Cinematic Trailer for Assassin's Creed Origins was released
22nd August: Gamescom 2017:
Ubisoft released a wealth of new information and images for Assassin's Creed Origins. Those who attended the event could play the game at the Ubisoft Booth, and even read the first chapter of Desert Oath.
Gamescom also introduced fans to Bayek's wife, Aya, who appears to be highly popular within the AC Community already!
First look at Aya
22nd August 2017: Another Trailer for Assassin's Creed Origins was released at Gamescom, this time titled "Game of Power Gameplay Trailer".
31st August: Assassin's Creed and Monster Energy Collaboration announced.
"Starting September 1, purchasing collectible Assassin's Creed Origins co-branded Monster Energy 24-ounce cans, 4-packs, or 10-packs will get you a code that you can redeem for in-game cash, animal or world resources for crafting, or even one of four exclusive weapons you won't find during normal play: the Dust Biter sword, the blunt Face-Breaker, the Scepter of Thaati, or the Rain Bow (a predator bow with a first-person viewpoint that makes it ideal for sniping). See all the weapons you can unlock below. Codes can be redeemed at www.MonsterEnergy.com/AssassinsCreed by logging in with your Ubisoft Club account."
Information from Gamespot: "More than 500 million Monster Energy drink cans globally will carry Assassin's Creed: Origins branding, with the cans starting to show up in stores now. This makes it one of Ubisoft's largest retail promotion partnerships ever"
13th September: Ubisoft released several creepy promo videos highlighting the antagonists of the game, "The Order of the Ancients"
(Several more with changes to voices/ languages can be found online)
14th September: Order of the Ancients Gameplay Trailer released
26th September: Episode 2 of the "Dev Q&A" series was released, this time featuring Associate Narrative Director Matthew Zagurak.
27th September: Ubisoft announce an upcoming program titled "The Hieroglyphics Initiative" to help Egyptologists with their work!
"As announced at the launch of The Hieroglyphics Initiative on 27th September 2017, we have begun compiling data, developing tools and reaching out to the academic community for collaboration partners. Our aim is to release the first results by the end of the year, at which point we will open up the project data and technology to everyone."
"Ubisoft is introducing something called the “Discovery Tour” to Assassin's Creed Origins, a free mode that eliminates all combat from the game, and really any central story components whatsoever. Instead, it will be a walking (and climbing) tour of Ancient Egypt used simply for educational purposes.
28th September: Ubisoft reveal their partnership with Focal, and a number of expensive products:
29th September 2017: From Sand Cinemaic Trailer released
4th October 2017: Birth of the Brotherhood Trailer released
10th October 2017: Post-Launch and Season Pass Content Trailer released.
Photo Mode was also revealed!
11th October: Several Media Outlets and Youtubers begin reporting on a controversial Gamestop Advert for Assassin's Creed Origins, creating an online backlash.
Although the ad was intended to come across as a joke, it was actually harmful to the marketing campaign. I also noticed a number of people online declaring that they would never again pre-order a video game from Gamestop, and others making it clear that they would not be pre-ordering Assassin's Creed Origins.
"From October 27th through December 31st, Twitch Prime members get exclusive in-game loot in Assassin’s Creed Origins!"
21st October: Promo video for Assassin's Creed Origins by Guillaume Pley.
23rd October: Assassin's Creed Origins Launch Trailer released
I personally think that Ubisoft have conducted a strong marketing campaign overall for Assassin's Creed Origins, focussing heavily on Community Feedback (Game Playable at events, Youtubers), and lots of Trailers showcasing the game, giving potential buyers the chance to see and even play the game from the beginning of the campaign.
I recently asked my Twitter followers what they thought of the Marketing Campaign.
Here are the results
Lots of Trailers and Gameplay.
Early Copies to Youtubers.
Game Playable at Events.
Using Social Media Channels to build hype from an early stage.
Promotion with Monster Energy
Many Interviews with people working on the game.
Focus on Education: "Discovery Mode"and "The Hieroglyphics Initiative"
Hidden messages within Hieroglyphics to be decoded.