We’ve seen some bizarre partnerships in gaming. This is a medium in which Mickey Mouse and Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 can exist in the same world. Still, I can’t help but scratch my head when I see that Ubisoft, the publisher of the upcoming action-adventure game Assassin’s Creed 3, is partnering with Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan organization trying to get lazy, apathetic teens to register for the upcoming presidential election.
The cause is certainly noble (unless the thought of thousands of uninformed teenagers helping decide the next leader of the free world makes you nervous), but what does it have to do with a game about a Native American killing people during the Revolutionary War? Both sides tried to explain their interesting partnership.
“There are several parallels between Assassin’s Creed III and Rock the Vote, from our common fanbase to our shared platform of patriotism. But above all, this partnership is about giving young people a chance to be heard,” said Ubisoft’s senior vice president of sales and marketing Tony Key in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “Just as 18th century Americans stood together to fight for freedom and democracy, we’re inspired by Rock the Vote’s capability to unite and empower generations of young people and we’re honored to help the organization carry on the tradition.”
That comparison is a bit of a stretch, but, you know…patriotism and all that. Rock the Vote president Heather Smith’s explanation makes more sense. “Partnering with Assassin’s Creed III provides us with an opportunity to engage a large and influential group of young people,” said Smith in the same press release. “If we can inspire just a small percentage of Assassin’s Creed fans to become more active in the upcoming election, we’ll no doubt be on our way to achieving our goal of registering 1.5 million voters.”
Assassin’s Creed is certainly a popular franchise, with the last entry in the series, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, selling more than 3 million copies domestically. If you’re going to target young people, hitting them with their games is certainly a reasonable idea.
As part of their efforts, Ubisoft will be launching a traveling exhibit called “The Art of the Assassin,” which will feature original works based on Assassin’s Creed 3 by contemporary artists ((like the one far above by Brain Flynn and the one below it by Chad Gowey). The tour will end in October with an auction for all the pieces, with the proceeds going to Rock the Vote.
Let’s just hope these young, impressionable teenagers take more to the game’s patriotic theme than the whole “murder anyone who opposes you” thing.
Assassin’s Creed 3 launches October 30 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.