A Ubisoft brand manager has made some eyebrow-raising comments about Assassin’s Creed’s Mega Bloks range at a conference in Toronto, GamesIndustry reports.
“For big IPs, smart brands are the best partners,” said Splinter Cell international brand manager Yannick Spagna said on a panel. “[Assassin’s Creed] do a line with Mega Bloks together. On their side, it’s nice because toys are looking for the hype around video games. And we are looking for a new audience: kids, children, it’s more like that.”
He later clarified his comments, stating that although the games (usually rated 18 in the UK and M in the US) are not suitable for kids, the brand somehow is. “This quote is not about Assassin’s Creed the game. It’s about Assassin’s Creed the brand. It’s the same way you have The Lord of the Rings brand, the books, Shadow of Mordor, the LEGO. It’s a huge franchise, a brand, and within that you have different experiences that are tailored to specific audiences… If you think about it, we could even do an Assassin’s Creed game tailored for kids. Imagine a LEGO game. It would mean changing a lot of things… I played hours and hours of LEGO Lord of the Rings, and you kill people but not kill people, because they’re LEGO characters.”
Yeah… honestly, I’m not sure a kiddie-oriented version of a game literally built around stabbing people to death would go down all that well, if I’m honest. Lord of the Rings is rather more firmly in the fantasy genre than Assassin’s Creed, whose violence is considerably more humanised and (sorry) visceral. It’s not like kids need any help stoking their fascination with adult-oriented games, anyway – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to tell my partner’s 8-year-old boy that there’s no way in hell he’s playing Grand Theft Auto, and there ain’t no toy range involved there.
Mega Bloks also do Halo, World of Warcraft and Call of Duty-flavoured sets, but on the toy brand’s website and elsewhere they’re clearly labelled as for “collectors” rather than kids. It seems Mr Spagna may have revealed the truth behind that branding.