Ubisoft Taps YouTube for Global Video Game Launch

Game publisher Ubisoft is promoting new epic adventure title “Assassin’s Creed 2” with a three-part video series about the game’s back-story. The first episode debuted yesterday in masthead ad units on seven YouTube homepages globally, one of the biggest coordinated ad placements in the site’s history.

The long-form video, called “Assassin’s Creed: Lineage,” graced YouTube’s homepages in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden for 24 hours yesterday. Parts two and three will also debut on YouTube before the game launches on November 17.

On November 21, another masthead banner will promote the game’s release in all seven countries, with the addition of Italy. The first episode in the film series will also appear on the Assassin’s Creed 2 game disk.

The miniseries was created by Montreal-based Hybride Technologies, which Ubisoft acquired in July. Hybride was involved in creating visual effects for the films “300” and “Sin City.” Ubisoft has had a YouTube channel for more than three years.

“Assassin’s Creed 2,” built for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, centers on a hooded assassin in Renaissance Italy.

The episode could be viewed yesterday either within a masthead ad placement on YouTube’s homepage, or on its dedicated watch page. As people view the homepage ad, those impressions will accrue to the video’s overall view count, which will drive more traffic as the video then appears on the “most watched” index page.

Additionally, Ubisoft is leveraging YouTube’s Promoted Videos ad placements to drive video views. Promoted Videos began as a form of search advertising on the site, and have since been expanded to the “Related Videos” column on video watch pages and to Google’s contextual ad network. Google advertisers can now buy Promoted Videos ads from their AdWords accounts.

As of this morning, the day after its launch, an English-language version of the 14-minute video had racked up 486,000 views and more than 5,000 ratings. Subtitled versions posted to YouTube’s international homepages had lower view counts. A Spanish version had nearly 90,000 views.

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