Ubisoft launched its fifth Entrepreneur Lab with eight international startups focused on social entertainment. New Ubisoft startups include Atlantide (France), Axie Infinity (Vietnam), Caregame (France), Immersiv.io (France), Planetarium (South Korea), Sorare (France), Splinterlands (United States) and Xaya (United Kingdom).
Directed by Ubisoft’s strategic innovation laboratory, the program helps startups create products and services that can transform the entertainment industry. Paris-based Ubisoft is one of the largest video game publishers in the world, with brands such as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance and Watch Dogs.
The Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab has been working with international startups since 2017 and is based in Paris at Station F, the largest startup campus in the world, and in Singapore in the IMDA Pixel incubation space. The collaboration with startups this season will be virtually.
For its fifth season, the program will focus on social entertainment. The media, especially video games, can be used as a tool to create and maintain social ties. The program will also continue to explore how blockchain technology – the transparent and secure digital registry – can help players and other online communities.
Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab is the interface between Ubisoft’s expert teams, entrepreneurs and external experts to foster productive collaborations and shape the entertainment of tomorrow.
In an email, Catherine Seys, project director for Strategic Innovation Labs at Ubisoft, said that the company did it because it had entrepreneurial roots and that innovation was a core value. He works with pioneering startups and thinkers to nurture this part of his culture and strengthen his entrepreneurial spirit. The laboratory is a tool for Ubisoft to anticipate the challenges that its teams may face in a few years.
The company is focusing on social entertainment as the barrier between players and viewers has narrowed in recent years, with the popularity of streaming platforms allowing content creators to bring their fans live content with a high level of interaction, she said.
“We want to continue exploring this path for the players, modders and viewers of our content,” said Seys. “With talented entrepreneurs working in different fields of entertainment – music, video production, live shows – we want to help create engaging, creative and fun entertainment experiences that bring people together.”
The pandemic did not affect the choices of startups, because the themes were chosen before the pandemic.
“However, it is clear that the pandemic has highlighted the growing importance of games as a social space for continuing to laugh, connect and learn from each other,” said Seys. “The game today is more focused than ever on community, lifestyle and collective creativity. Players are eager to share with friends and people around the world. The phenomenon is favored by the development of other technologies, such as blockchain, which facilitates modding communities and cloud-gaming sessions hosting thousands of people. “
Former participants in the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab program include startups such as Mimesys (Belgium), acquired by MagicLeap in 2019, Hugging Face (United States) which raised $ 15 million in 2019 and Azarus (United States), which s has recently partnered with Ubisoft for Assassin’s Creed’s. Valhalla reveals.
Here are the startups:
- Atlantis (France) creates educational games based on history to learn while having fun. The first experience of Atlantis is a geolocalized game that transforms a place into a playground to encourage observation, communication and immersion. The ambition of Atlantis is to dust history by making it more concrete, more playful and less elitist, through professional and general public tools.
- Caregame (France) is helping mobile game publishers reach players like never before. Thanks to the new cloud mobile game solution developed by CareGame, players can instantly access any mobile game without any downloads. No more smartphone (or storage) constraints: mobile games can be enjoyed with just one click, whatever the device, opening doors for better discoverability and a wider audience. CareGame believes that the future of mobile gaming deserves to bring publishers and players closer together, by being less centralized and more united.
- Immersive.io (France) uses augmented reality to offer fans a live experience. Whether they watch with their smart glasses or their smartphone, they have access and interact with all the information they need to enjoy a game: video streaming, reruns, statistics, social feeds, editorial content and more regardless of their location , at the stadium or at home.
- Planetarium (South Korea) is an ecosystem of community-fueled online games that live forever through decentralization. Libplanet, a blockchain core, allows the blockchain and a game client to fully share the code so that developers can create decentralized cross-platform games in a single Unity project. Libplanet-based game clients can connect to each other to power an online world together without centralized servers. Planetarium is also developing Nine Chronicles, a fully decentralized role-playing game based on Libplanet which will be launched in 2020. To encourage experimentation, this game will be available in open source at launch and updated with the support of the community.
- Sky Mavis (Vietnam) creates Axie Infinity, a digital universe for pets where players fight, breed and trade cute creatures called Axies. In Axie Infinity, players can take advantage of the benefits of blockchain technology through “Play to Earn” gameplay and a player-owned economy. The game is created by technology company Sky Mavis, which specializes in creating products that allow anyone to truly own their digital identity and their gaming assets.
- So rare (France) is a global fantasy football game where managers can trade official digital collectibles, compose their teams and compete for rewards every week. Launched in March 2019, Sorare’s mission is to bring crypto to fans of fantastic sports through the most popular sport in the world: football. Sorare’s game attracted more than 10,000 users with a monthly volume of $ 150,000 in March 2020. Based in Paris, Sorare is funded by venture capitalists such as Seedcamp, ConsenSys and Kima Ventures.
- Splinterlands (United States) is a new generation trading card game. By building the game on blockchain technology, the company allows players to play at any time, exchange at any time and earn each victory. Over 20 million games have been played. Over $ 100,000 has been awarded to players in tournaments. Thousands of accounts clash every day. The market has seen more than a million dollars in cards traded between players in less than two years.
- Xaya (UK) is a blockchain gaming platform designed from the ground up to support complex decentralized games with scalability in mind. Xaya aims to bring the quality and depth of traditional centralized games to the fully decentralized field. This opens up possibilities such as human mining, a game model for winning where games are proven to be fair, transparent, unreliable and autonomous. Xaya is also developing Taurion, a complex decentralized game. The company creates Taurion, a massively multiplayer real-time online strategy game and a role-playing game where players use their skills, intelligence and teamwork to compete for resources in an economy and an entirely gaming world. decentralized and player-oriented.