Recently, EA Motive Studios founder Jade Raymond expressed her surprise at Assassin’s Creed’s continued success. As a producer on the original game, her and her team were aware they had something special on their hands. However, the franchise’s insurmountable growth could not have been predicted.
During the Develop: Brighton event, Raymond admits that Assassin’s Creed was created with building a brand in mind. “…We really wanted to create a sort of franchise meta-infrastructure or story engine if you will, so that the franchise could live on.” Therefore, the original title was designed as a sandbox with other creatives in mind. She adds, “I was hoping that we could hand off the keys to other professionals and they could create their own thing within it.”
Raymond says many of the ideas that went into crafting Assassin’s Creed inform the development of EA Motive’s new project. Instead of creating a “framework” for professional creatives to dig their teeth into, EA Motive intends to design something that can be passed to fans.
Now I’m working with a new team, we’re trying to think about what is the franchise of the future, and we’re trying to do something big. One of the things we’re really thinking about is — instead of a framework to hand off the keys to professional teams — can we design a framework where it can be handed off to the fans?
Akin to Star Wars, EA Motive is looking at ways to encourage brand engagement. Raymond deems this the “network engagement model.” She continues,
It’s probably the biggest franchise, not only from a visibility and monetary perspective; there’s no way to escape Star Wars. It could be Christmas and you see a Darth Vader Christmas tree. It doesn’t matter what the occasion is, you’re always going to be exposed to it.
There’s no other franchise on earth with so many light ways to connect. Even if you’re not a fan you can have a very light connection to Star Wars just because you’ve been exposed to it so many different times.
Maybe as a gamer you all feel like you have to buy that game within those first two weeks, because that’s kind of your cred as a gamer around the water cooler… But the shift that’s going on is games are going on from being that big entertainment event to being a widely shared past time.