58: Everywhere and Nowhere

"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."

Everywhere and Nowhere

Here we have an excellent article. Even more than just the investigation and the corporate psychoanalysis, the strong voice was enjoyable simply to read. It's not just the insight in which the Escapist specializes: this is a well-written little bit of journalism. I'd like to see more articles like this.

Ubisoft has been a favourite publisher and developer of mine for years. Odd that they have managed to stay so quiet while growing so large. Even so, they show their love of games through their commitment to creating new and innovative games. The care about making good products, for all kinds of gamers.

And Rayman will always have a special place in my heart, and on my screen.

Reading this article has made me realize something quite interesting. Other than knowing that Ubisoft is a French based company and have game studios in various countries, I know almost nothing about them even though I own more than ten games published by them. Maybe we should start calling them Phantomsoft instead.

Ubisoft suffer from the very same weakness all other corporate bodies do - the human factor.
If you wish to attack Ubisoft, attack its human factor.
If you seek an analysis on who they be, query for their employee list; the chairman, executive board, accountants, game devs.
Ubisoft games be credited by their makers, search up on the makers.
The producers, designers, programmers...
Humans leave electronic traces, emails, forums, et cetra and have a rather nasty habbit of expressing themselves in one way or the other.
Track those, uncover them, and you shall find out who Ubisoft truely be.

Thus began "Ubisoft: The Secret".

I thought the name "Ubisoft" was a play on words. In Latin, "ubi" means "where", thus you have "where soft": kind of a tongue-in-cheek play on the term "software". Back in the day, we geeks in Latin used make Latin gibberish phrases along these lines. For instance: "SEMPER UBI SUB UBI" means nothing, but read in English you get "Always where under where".

Yves Guillemot, apparently, once corrected a journalist in the pronuniciation of the word: it's not "YOO-bee-soft", but rather, "OO-bee-soft". The latter pronunciation matches the Latin, so it seems to reinforce my point.

Anyway, "ubiquity", even though also using the Latin "ubi", seemed like little more than a semi-logical conclusion by the author, rather than a sourced fact.

Cheers -

Thanks for all the feedback. In truth, I just had a really good time playing all those Ubisoft games. They genuinely annoyed the hell out of me by not answering any questions, and I genuinely love their games (which kind of makes the fact that they ignored me inconsequential). I guess it's nice to have someone out there with a bit of mistique, and they certainly can't be accused of slacking off.

@Yosarian: I'm almost as impressed that you can speak latin as I am that you were able to weave the fact into an unrelated topic! ;)
Check it out here, straight from the sea bird - http://www.ubisoftgroup.com/index.php?p=63&art_id=&PHPSESSID=89e2fe50495973b746cf1e783e182190

Well, there you have it! Apologies, Spanner - I shoulda' just taken your remark in the article as a bit of education and kept my trap shut.

To your statement about playing and enjoying their games and not minding the enigma: I have to agree with you, though I'd never even considered it before I read this week's Escapist. There's some appeal in not being able to look behind the curtain!

Cheers, and keep up the good work!

Yosarian:

To your statement about playing and enjoying their games and not minding the enigma: I have to agree with you, though I'd never even considered it before I read this week's Escapist. There's some appeal in not being able to look behind the curtain!

I think you've nailled exactly what it is I came to enjoy about Ubisoft in your last sentence. It is all about not knowing what'd going on behind the veil, and whether or not this is a deliberate aspect of company policy, I guess we'll never know (and if we did find out, the mystique would be gone!). I guess it's the same as clothing; 'sexy' is what you CAN'T see, rather than what you can.

Thanks for the feedback, and glad you enjoyed the article.

Oh, and no apologies necessary. You just happened to land on one of the very very VERY few facts about Ubisoft I did actually manage to uncover!

 

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