Assassin’s Creed: Origins takes players to Ancient Egypt—49 BCE, to be exact—to explore the biggest world created for an Assassin’s Creed game. Egypt has captured the world’s imagination for thousands of years and Ubisoft is leveraging that wonder for its Assassin’s Creed campaign, without taking itself too seriously.
While the campaign has has focused on Bayek, Assassin’s Creed: Origins‘ main character, the star of Ubisoft’s efforts have been Egypt, itself—or rather, how much fun it can be. In case the prospect of sliding down the side of a pyramid wasn’t enticing enough, Ubisoft released a video called “Tales From The Tomb,” an animated short that brings real Egyptian wall art to life and imagines what they might be talking about, from the new assassin in town to candy weapons and aliens.
Ubisoft teamed up with Smosh Games to create a three-episode series that delves deeper into real-life Egyptian culture.
“Operation: Open World” surprises Smosh Games hosts Mari Takahashi and Joshua “Joven” Ovenshire with a trip to Egypt. Together, they explore the pyramids and landmarks that are recreated in Assassin’s Creed: Origins and learn about the region from spices to animal life and of course, mummies.
“While trailers and influencer gameplay are still cornerstones of our online content, [Operation: Open World] provides the opportunity for us to tap into a larger lifestyle conversation across both gaming and travel audiences,” Adam Novickas, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft, told Marketing Daily. “This is a departure from our past—predominantly historically grounded, more serious gameplay content and reflects the more casual and relatable entry point to our brand that we’ve started to develop.”
Late-night comedian Conan O’Brien and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers sat down to play the game on “Clueless Gamer,” a popular gaming segment for the Conan show. Despite not actually being a gamer himself, O’Brien managed to accidentally trigger a developer-only mode that let him fly through the air, and as usual, has no idea what’s going on.
Promotional crossovers aren’t unusual, but it usually occurs within games from the same publishers. Square Enix partnered with Ubisoft to create “Assassins Festival,” a free addition to Final Fantasy XV, available from August 31 to January 18.
Sneaker artist Dominic Lowman of Carmeno Custom Kicks worked with Ubisoft to design limited-edition Yeezys inspired by Assassin’s Creed: Origins. The hand-painted, limited-edition kicks are only available as prizes through the official Assassin’s Creed social channels.
Ubisoft may not be afraid to have a little fun at Ancient Egypt’s expense—or take liberties with historical characters—but it’s taking it seriously, too.
The publisher worked alongside Egyptologists to capture the look and feel of Cleopatra’s homeland and is developing AI to further scholars’ understanding of the language. The Hieroglyphics Initiative uses machine learning to collate, catalog and translate hieroglyphics, with the first findings scheduled to be released by the end of the year.
For those who just want to look around, a new combat-free education mode allows players to explore Egypt through guided tours curated by historians. “Discovery Tour” will cover topics like mummification, pyramids and important figures from the era. The new mode will not be released until next year, but it’s free to download.
Speaking of learning, more than 30 college and university campuses across the US are hosting a launch event sponsored by Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Monster Energy. Depending on the school, the events will offer hands-on time with the game and Assassin’s Creed: Origins-themed prizes.