"Of all the female protagonists who now inhabit the landscape of gaming, there is one who stands apart: Jade, the central character in Ubisoft's Beyond Good & Evil, exhibits an admirable kind of cosmopolitan verve. She has somehow been freed of genre expectations. With her green lipstick and a powerful sense of loyalty to her family and the people around her, she cuts an idealistic but believable figure against the absurd backdrop of games." Jim Rossignol writes a touching love letter to an under-appreciated classic in "Green-Eyed Grrl."
Ubisoft: Ubi, Uber, Uni
"The practice is called 'ghost writing,' and it has been around as long, one supposes, as famous writers have had more money than time. Clancy, the man, has become a brand, and Clancy, the brand, has put more books in the hands of more travelers than perhaps even the Gideons." Russ Pitts speaks to the ghost writers of Red Storm in "Red Storm Writing."
"The Frag Dolls, Ubisoft's team of sexy girl gamers, have engendered controversy since their inception. Originally promoted as a sponsored clan, the latest 'About Us' page on the official Frag Dolls site reads, 'The Frag Dolls are a team of gamers recruited by Ubisoft to represent their video games and promote the presence of women in the gaming industry.' Sure, that's Ubisoft's line on the group, but I wanted to hear about the Frag Dolls from, well, a real Frag Doll." Joe Blancato pierces the veil in "Frag Doll on Frag Dolls."
"Some people hear 'outsourcing' and go completely nonlinear. Often, these folks feel personally threatened that someone in India or China will take over their own job. We're just starting to hear that note of fear in the electronic gaming industry, where 'offshoring' (subcontracting production work to overseas studios) is quietly becoming standard practice - fostered, in great part, by Ubisoft." Allen Varney addresses Ubisoft's role in the practice of software "offshoring" in "Ubisourcing."
"Who the hell is Ubisoft? It's like some kind of personality black hole; compressing a galaxy of individuality into a dimensionless, cross-platform singularity so dense that no personal information can escape its vast event horizon. (Everything I know, I learned from Star Trek.) Has it grown too big to support an individual identity, or has it become the worst kind of soulless byproduct of a passionless corporate mind?" Spanner attempts to define the ubiquitous publisher in "Everywhere and Nowhere."