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View Full Version : The Jade Raymond, Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed Hypothesis debate...



ROKOKO
11-18-2007, 11:55 AM
I thought i'd make this thread based on the large number of people debating 'women' in video games based off the Jade Raymond as the face of Assassin's Creed scenario. I have seen quite a few people on this board talk about it on a pro or con level and want to chime in here.

First off I am also one of those with a 360 version that gets at least one or two freezes/glitches a day. One glitch was so bad that my whole system turned off and made a pop sound. No other game has done, or does this for me but AC. Anyway back to the topic...

When Assassin's Creed was first shown to the media a long while ago, I remember seeing Jade giving the presentation. Of course, like many gamers, I just assumed she was a model or woman hired to show off the game as has been done many a time by gaming companies. Sexist yes, but that is just the reality. I've been a gamer since I was 5 and we all know that historically speaking we get called nerds and geeks for spending hourse on WOW, WCIII Everquest or Starcraft by women who look like Jade. Gamers typically have not generated any interest in the 'attractive' female till now when the gaming industry is the new hot thing. This is simply an explanation for why most hardcore gamers seeing her fronting AC that day would not have assumed her to be more than just that...a front.

Now fast forward and we realise she is actually one of the producers. Many people have questioned the validity of this. Why is she so prominent in the promotion of this game? Why is it that in this case Jade's face is all over the videos promoting AC whereas Cliffy B of Gears shared screen time with the other developers and mostly wasn't featured at all in the promotion of Gears. The game did the talking. I mean damn, I have no idea what the producer of Halo 3 looks like. I really don't care either.

AC definitely woke me up to something new in the gaming industry. A time when the Video Game Booth babe is normal. Models, big business and monopolies like EA flood into the market and have become the image of the industry. What happened to the good old four eyed geek that made the industry what it is? The dudes that took all the flak for the last 20 years but kept playing and supporting the business while the people now capitalizing on that foundation were off being cool? It is an interesting phenomenon.

Now back to the Jade debate. I am one of those that feel it is 50 50 as to how much she actually controlled the formation and creation of AC. We have no way of knowing that. It is wrong for people to assume she is just a pretty face because we don't know the facts. On the other hand it is possible she really is 'the image' and one that UBI know will attract a predominantly male gaming audience. Note it isn't about Jade making you buy AC, it is about her making you pick up the magazine, read the review, find out about the game or pay attention to what AC has to offer. That is the key to advertising. Does Jade make the average male video game buyer pay attention to AC on the websites they visit for new games? Yeah...she does.

I think the thing that most sparked the debates I have read online is the overwhelming use of her image as Assassin's Creed. To be honest when I thought of the game over the last year, her image was part of it. Very weird. I saw people discuss AC and talk about Jade like they were linked. I have never seen this in discussion's of Halo 3, Gears, WoW or any other HUGE title. I mean who the hell is the producer of Mass Effect? I ain't got a clue. This essentially makes people suspicious. I believe rightly so. I am an old schooler near 30. I have owned every gaming console since the commodore 64. I know where this industry started and have seen the music and film industry collapse into mediocrity as the games industry has risen from dust on the backs of kids spending their last dimes on Street Fighter II Turbo and Super Mario. When things get to the stage where that basic grass roots ideology of THE GAME speaks for itself, then we will have lost something.

AC is an excellent game. One of the best of the year. Everyone at UBI should be very proud of the achievement. It is actually quite stunningly realised. If not for the horrid freeze issues that plague my AC experience, i'd call it a stunner.

It would be grossly unfair to accuse Jade of not contributing to the success of the game though we may not know what capacity that contribution may or may not have been. The issue is that there is a whole legion of grafters at UBI that made this game possible. Guys who were just like me as kids, playing Shinobi on the Sega megadrive and wondering how batman somehow got into the game as a later boss character. I know times are changing, but that image is what i'd want to continue to see as the face of the industry. Guys like Cliffy B, most gamers who buy most of the games can really identify with. That is what I believe irks a lot of the detractors of the Jade concept. If the archetypal gamer image can't hold sway in their own industry, then where will you. Again, times are changing, and maybe young attractive women do play games more than they did before. It would however be very cynical to argue that they make up even a tenth of the overwhelming male gaming population.

Anyway, this is a platform for debate on these ideas. Will be interesting to hear people's thoughts.

ROKOKO
11-18-2007, 11:55 AM
I thought i'd make this thread based on the large number of people debating 'women' in video games based off the Jade Raymond as the face of Assassin's Creed scenario. I have seen quite a few people on this board talk about it on a pro or con level and want to chime in here.

First off I am also one of those with a 360 version that gets at least one or two freezes/glitches a day. One glitch was so bad that my whole system turned off and made a pop sound. No other game has done, or does this for me but AC. Anyway back to the topic...

When Assassin's Creed was first shown to the media a long while ago, I remember seeing Jade giving the presentation. Of course, like many gamers, I just assumed she was a model or woman hired to show off the game as has been done many a time by gaming companies. Sexist yes, but that is just the reality. I've been a gamer since I was 5 and we all know that historically speaking we get called nerds and geeks for spending hourse on WOW, WCIII Everquest or Starcraft by women who look like Jade. Gamers typically have not generated any interest in the 'attractive' female till now when the gaming industry is the new hot thing. This is simply an explanation for why most hardcore gamers seeing her fronting AC that day would not have assumed her to be more than just that...a front.

Now fast forward and we realise she is actually one of the producers. Many people have questioned the validity of this. Why is she so prominent in the promotion of this game? Why is it that in this case Jade's face is all over the videos promoting AC whereas Cliffy B of Gears shared screen time with the other developers and mostly wasn't featured at all in the promotion of Gears. The game did the talking. I mean damn, I have no idea what the producer of Halo 3 looks like. I really don't care either.

AC definitely woke me up to something new in the gaming industry. A time when the Video Game Booth babe is normal. Models, big business and monopolies like EA flood into the market and have become the image of the industry. What happened to the good old four eyed geek that made the industry what it is? The dudes that took all the flak for the last 20 years but kept playing and supporting the business while the people now capitalizing on that foundation were off being cool? It is an interesting phenomenon.

Now back to the Jade debate. I am one of those that feel it is 50 50 as to how much she actually controlled the formation and creation of AC. We have no way of knowing that. It is wrong for people to assume she is just a pretty face because we don't know the facts. On the other hand it is possible she really is 'the image' and one that UBI know will attract a predominantly male gaming audience. Note it isn't about Jade making you buy AC, it is about her making you pick up the magazine, read the review, find out about the game or pay attention to what AC has to offer. That is the key to advertising. Does Jade make the average male video game buyer pay attention to AC on the websites they visit for new games? Yeah...she does.

I think the thing that most sparked the debates I have read online is the overwhelming use of her image as Assassin's Creed. To be honest when I thought of the game over the last year, her image was part of it. Very weird. I saw people discuss AC and talk about Jade like they were linked. I have never seen this in discussion's of Halo 3, Gears, WoW or any other HUGE title. I mean who the hell is the producer of Mass Effect? I ain't got a clue. This essentially makes people suspicious. I believe rightly so. I am an old schooler near 30. I have owned every gaming console since the commodore 64. I know where this industry started and have seen the music and film industry collapse into mediocrity as the games industry has risen from dust on the backs of kids spending their last dimes on Street Fighter II Turbo and Super Mario. When things get to the stage where that basic grass roots ideology of THE GAME speaks for itself, then we will have lost something.

AC is an excellent game. One of the best of the year. Everyone at UBI should be very proud of the achievement. It is actually quite stunningly realised. If not for the horrid freeze issues that plague my AC experience, i'd call it a stunner.

It would be grossly unfair to accuse Jade of not contributing to the success of the game though we may not know what capacity that contribution may or may not have been. The issue is that there is a whole legion of grafters at UBI that made this game possible. Guys who were just like me as kids, playing Shinobi on the Sega megadrive and wondering how batman somehow got into the game as a later boss character. I know times are changing, but that image is what i'd want to continue to see as the face of the industry. Guys like Cliffy B, most gamers who buy most of the games can really identify with. That is what I believe irks a lot of the detractors of the Jade concept. If the archetypal gamer image can't hold sway in their own industry, then where will you. Again, times are changing, and maybe young attractive women do play games more than they did before. It would however be very cynical to argue that they make up even a tenth of the overwhelming male gaming population.

Anyway, this is a platform for debate on these ideas. Will be interesting to hear people's thoughts.

AirRon_2K7
11-18-2007, 12:01 PM
Gah, another Jade thread. But at least this one makes sense. Better than "I WANT JADE IN BED" topics going around.

You have my thumbs up, for making something that actually makes sense... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

People kill for my thumbs up http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

ROKOKO
11-18-2007, 12:02 PM
Correction: When things get to the stage where that basic grass roots ideology of THE GAME no longer speaks for itself, then we will have lost something.

ROKOKO
11-18-2007, 12:06 PM
Thanks AirRon. I think that thread type you speak of is what many are worried about. Wanting to sleep with the producer of a game is just sad. Remember gaming is traditionally about getting away from the realities of being pretty or ugly in the eyes of society. It was about being anything you wanted to be even if you were seen as a dweeb. When they bring the beauty concept into the industry, it further marginalises the guys who are only here to escape being seen as weak, ugly or inadequate.

Don't want to get all psychoanalytical but it is actually the truth.

Kariko762
11-18-2007, 12:12 PM
Nice post

1) i dont feel the use of sexy women in advertiving as SEXEST, for e.g Look at "Maxim" (UK Mens Mag) the front page has a Half naked woman on it to attract the men. Then take ANY womans Mag that men just would never buy, alas again, women on the front cover. I just generaly feel women are better, dare i say is, objects to use for advertising. People pay more attention to them and its not always in a Sexual Maner.

2) The rock DOES rock doesn't it http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

3) I hope Jade gets remembered for what she DID do and does do in her career rather than gets type-cast and only remembered for being the face of AC! - as for how much control she did or didn't have over the making, i feel it pointless in guess because people will argue and opinions will differ over a silly subject that has really no relevance!

My 2p...

lostassassin123
11-18-2007, 12:20 PM
Too much to read
*Dies*

mdee.Rocks
11-18-2007, 12:24 PM
Shrug..

I worked on a couple of games and usually producers do not have the time to put their face everywhere, asked or unasked..

Games are teamwork and only made by teams of people, what marketing presents to general public is different story...

P.S. Personally, if anything, the marketing strategy used by Ubisoft when promoting AC didn't have any positive effects on me.

Firecracker22
11-18-2007, 12:30 PM
I don't think Ubisoft used Jade as a marketing strategy for "sex appeal" or "to lure ***** boys"...I think those theories are just insane. If they had, she'd had probably been in Playboy before the game was released or something.

I think slight overexposure, and sexism, is what's creating any controversy, bringing morons out of the woodwork to say stuff and make stupid things like the "comic". I think it's just a sign of how immature the gaming fanbase truly is. This is why we weren't allowed an UNCUT Manhunt 2. And, I'm starting to agree with it because of how Jade's been met with from most gamer fans.

ROKOKO
11-18-2007, 12:38 PM
I partially agree with you firecracker. I agree that is overexposure that has caused this issue. Jade was simply seen and shown WAY too much for a game producer. It really got ridiculous. Almost like an actress for her latest movie. However I disagree that she needed to be in Playboy to be seen as a sex appeal tool. That is making sex appeal very basic and simplistic. look at Dana Scully. MANY men find her sexy and she almost never exposed herself in all the years of X files.

Jade aesthetics were played off to benefit the promotion of the game. That is beyond obvious. I think the real issue is whether it is a good or a bad thing for game marketing in the future.

Kariko762
11-18-2007, 12:48 PM
i dont see why it would be a "bad" thing. some may is it as exploiting a member of staff simply because she is good looking.

at the same time its good from the companies point of view, you got someone who knows what the games about how it works etc and at the same time they themselves are "eye candy".

relating the the Skully theory. Its very true to this post, Jade is a Powerful woman (producer) shes sucessfull and thus people will lookup to her and some will find her more attractive because of this and thus she will be noticed more. Skull is an atractive career driving dominant woman.. which is whats apealing about her

Firecracker22
11-18-2007, 12:56 PM
What about Cliffy B?

Was he used as a sexual tool for fanboys? Cause I saw him TONS and TONS of times when it came to Gears of War. I think Jade was slightly overexposed, but for what it's worth....she's got charm and charisma...she gives good interviews and get the points across of the game. That, and Patrice was just creepy man. Him and his creepy smirk.

Zikro
11-18-2007, 12:56 PM
Statistics from video game companies show that 40-50% of the video game market is female. However, they are the majority of casual games, not games such as Gears of War, Halo, etc.

Something Ubisoft might be working at is that if other women see this attractive female playing this sort of game, more will be open to trying/playing it. I mean it's a given that most guys will think Assassin's Creed to be frickin' awesome and will end up playing it at some point because of the foundation of being an assassin. Anywho, I haven't even seen her face nor heard of her until the 15th, the day after I picked up the game. I first saw her on the forums here.

Firecracker22
11-18-2007, 12:59 PM
No matter what, the streotype is that ALL gamers are guys.

I think MOST gamers are guys, really, but there aren't many games that girls can identify with and get into. So, to say that Jade could have been part of a strategy to capture the female audience is more than valid. It makes sense.

Still, the way Jade has been dragged through the mud for simply talking about a game she's got input on is more than pathetic for gamers as a whole.

Kariko762
11-18-2007, 01:13 PM
I think its good to see that a woman has got interest in games, its just a shame she has to go through all this scrutiny!

I would be nice to see more female gamers, not so i can letch but as Firecracker says.. when someone says im a gamer straight away your

SINGLE
GLASSES
SPOTTY
(PROBABLY GINGER :P)

i just hate the stereotypical gamer portrait. im none of the above thank crist and i love games i also love my beer and sports and going out clubbin... where do i fit in the stereotype?

ynamite
11-18-2007, 01:35 PM
I'm not sure, but I dont think UBI or Jade for that matter supsected the amount of publicity she and AC would receive.

Just compare how she used to look in her first interviews and what not and how she presents
herself today. I think UBI only noticed after a while what an impact she actually has on the hype and that they would continue to let her speak about the game because she obviously did a very good job. She is very charismatic and thus very good at infecting you with her enthusiasm of the game.

I honestly cant say how much she contributed to the game itself, a question I've asked myself numerous times, especially now that I've finished the game and got to experience the whole thing first hand. But I seriously doubt that UBI went out there with the aim to create the Christina Aguilera of gaming (bad comparison, I know) and with that, sell double the amount of copies.

Do you think AC would have been less successful without Jade? I dont think so, just as you said, does anybody know what the producers of mass effect look like?

maybe the whole jade raymonde thing didn't phase me too much, but I think she just happens to be a good looking person who plays and develops video games...

Kariko762
11-18-2007, 01:46 PM
To be honest i didn't even know who she was until today reading the forums.. its stupid all this ****...

i only got into it because i was talking about Raymond Feist... and someone made the comparason thinking i was being a perv!! lol nice!

NECESARY_EVIL
11-18-2007, 02:05 PM
I can't read...

barbasoll
11-18-2007, 02:37 PM
For AC, the main spokespeople were Jade (Producer) and Patrice (Creat Director). For Gears of War it was primarily Cliffy B (Creat Director) and also Mark Rein (Vice President). (And Cliffy B was in the spotlight even more than Jade, imo). For Mass Effect, a lot of the interviews have been with Dr. Greg (V.P.) and Dr. Ray (CEO) and less so Casey Hudson (Producer).

Conclusion: It's not set in stone. It probably just ends up being the people on the project with charisma who can sell the product to the public the best.

Srikandi
11-18-2007, 02:51 PM
There have always been women in game development. Roberta Williams had quite a following in the early days of the adventure game genre http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif There are still plenty of women in most game development companies. Possibly disproportionately in the writing, art and production departments, but there are programmers too. Read the credits for your favorite game http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

A few years ago I was heavily involved with the Myst community, when Ubisoft Montreal was working on Myst IV: Revelation. I got to meet a bunch of the Ubi Montreal people at E3, men and women, and they were all pleasant, fun, normal, mature human beings.

As a woman gamer since the early 80s, I think Assassin's Creed is the kind of game that appeals to a lot of women. You're rewarded for using your brains rather than blowing everything up http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif The ethical issues are challenging and ambiguous, just as in reality, but the story and the hero are concerned with ethics. There's an important female character -- in the lab -- and she's presented with sympathy and complexity. (Her blouse doesn't need to be that tight but at least it's buttoned up http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif )

It's an open world where you can decide how you play. It's graphically beautiful, and it's fun http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

MiniAssasin
11-18-2007, 03:29 PM
there is nothing weird about women making games or playing them. whats the point of this thead?

scared_links
11-18-2007, 04:00 PM
What makes the whole Jade Raymond situation worse is that the comic incident. Ubisoft were so quick to file a law suit, even though it's freedom of speach. This can lead to people thinking that they are treating her so speacial due to the fact that she is a girl and a hot one too. Also http://www.ukresistance.co.uk/pics4/jade_raymond_and_team.jpg
this can lead to the same problem. Anyways they made a great game and people shouldn't be so offensive.

ROKOKO
11-18-2007, 07:00 PM
Hmmm, I actually think the whole comic thing comes with the territory. It is unfortunate, but that's life. It's a free world and UBI would be better served not to sue anyone for it. I mean I only found out about the comic because of the UBI hoopla over it.

I guess you have to draw parrallels to entertainment and how women in music and film etc would get the same treatment. Imagine say Anglina Jolie suing every site and person that made a selacious image of her. Waste of time and energy. It is kind of the irony of the situation though. If Jade has to be the face of AC, she kind of has to accept this sort of thing will happen. The audience involved have a large portion of folks that genuinely find such comics funny and kind of cool. Right or wrong, that is the reality. I'd say let it be. It will get far worse before it gets better.

ROKOKO
11-18-2007, 07:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Just compare how she used to look in her first interviews and what not and how she presents
herself today. I think UBI only noticed after a while what an impact she actually has on the hype and that they would continue to let her speak about the game because she obviously did a very good job. She is very charismatic and thus very good at infecting you with her enthusiasm of the game. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is a good point. There was a definite change in presentation from the beginning to later/now. It is like they realised it was an angle to push (image etc). I noticed that too. Good point.

unnamedninja
11-18-2007, 08:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ROKOKO:
Now fast forward and we realise she is actually one of the producers. Many people have questioned the validity of this. Why is she so prominent in the promotion of this game? Why is it that in this case Jade's face is all over the videos promoting AC whereas Cliffy B of Gears shared screen time with the other developers and mostly wasn't featured at all in the promotion of Gears. The game did the talking. I mean damn, I have no idea what the producer of Halo 3 looks like. I really don't care either.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You didn't state your own opinion as to the reasons for Jade promoting the game, so i'll just make a general comment about the annoying cynicism i've seen on the net regarding this.

Kojima directs/produces (who knows what his role is anymore) the metal gear games as we all know, and as such he's expected to showcase the games at different games conventions etc. Also sometimes he has someone extra with him, i think when mgs2 and mgs3 were getting hyped, sometimes Shinkawa would be dragged along with him. Was Shinkawa somehow more relevant to the gamers than anyone else on the crew producing those games? Not really. Although some might consider his role more important than say the sound technician, really it just comes down to who is comfortable standing up in front of a bunch of people, and going on camera and talking about the videogame they're helping to create.

Jade i would guess, as the producer of the game gets a lot more time to do promotional stuff like this, because as the producer she's far more hands off than Patrice who's the actual hands on director. The guy in the office with the whip on all the modellers, sound guys, etc. Now Jade is the one who has the whip which whips Patrice http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif j/k

So yeah that's my educated guess at least, i dont claim to have knowledge about how things work over at Montreal studios.