Eurobest

Photomode - Out There in Game

MNSTR, Paris / UBISOFT / 2023

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Overview

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Overview

Background

While video games are primarily known for their competitive or recreational aspects, many players also use this medium to explore, escape, create, and express their creativity.

Increasingly, players are immersing themselves in their quests and adventures using the “photomode” (available in most video games), giving rise to a new genre of art: in-game photography. The "photomode," available in numerous Ubisoft titles, is primarily a tool for all players.

As the creator of open worlds and a leading video game studio, Ubisoft wanted to sweep away the traditional stereotypes associated with video games and its players. It wanted to demonstrate its contribution to creativity and self-expression, and to position the brand as part of the artistic avant-garde.

Idea

To celebrate the power of video games and the creativity of players worldwide, Ubisoft launched PHOTOMODE - OUT THERE IN GAMES, the first international and collaborative exhibition of in-game photography, held from November 16th to 20th 2022 at Ideal Glass Studio, in New York.

What are these virtual universes, very real and yet far beyond our reality? What relationship do we have with them and what emotions do they evoke?

For one month, Ubisoft made all its games free of charge, inviting players from around the world to explore these virtual worlds and make art using its Photomode tool.

Offering a refined real physical space to pay homage to the immense creativity of online players-photographers-artists. By doing so, the brand embraced an emerging artistic movement from the digital world, providing it with significant visibility and genuine recognition through an exhibition held in our tangible reality, in New York.

Strategy

Photomode, available in many Ubisoft works, is a tool used by gamers. It is a way for them to seize these worlds, to visit them differently, to observe their smallest details and to reveal their nuances.

These shots, first considered simple screenshots that aestheticize the world of gaming, have gradually become a genuine artistic discipline, giving rise to a niche but very active community on social known as in-game photographers.

This new wave of artists gather on niche platforms like Reddit, Discord, Flickr, but no other brand has ever connected to this vivid and creative community.

Ubisoft celebrates the creativity of this global community and offers them the opportunity to share their vision and sensitivity, fostering the rise of in-game photography on the global art scene.

Our strategy was simple: TURN VIDEO GAMES INTO ART AND PLAYERS INTO ARTISTS.

Execution

During the annual Ubisoft Forward event on September 10, 2022, we announced the launch of Photomode, Out There in games, a global competition, and the first major international and collaborative in-game photography exhibition.

We made all Ubisoft games free for one month, allowing players from around the world to explore these virtual worlds and make art.

Players and artists were invited to submit their works before October 10th via social media and on https://photomode-ubisoft.com for a chance to be featured in the New York exhibition.

A jury of five in-game photography connoisseurs – digital artist Kent Sheely, photographer Will Saunders, VR artist Melanie Courtinat, in-game photographer Pascal Greco and Ubisoft Editorial VP Bio Jade Adam Granger – selected winners for seven categories: portrait, outdoor & wildlife, experimental, still architecture, motion, sports and narrative.

The exhibition was held from November 17-20, 2022, at the prestigious Ideal Glass Studio in New York.

Outcome

Over 10,000 players submitted their snapshots (user generated content from Ubisoft games) for a chance to be among the 20 projects, selected by a jury of professionals through an open worldwide competition, exhibited alongside international in-game artists.

In total, over 140 artworks were exhibited for more than a week, immersing visitors in these virtual worlds.

By doing so, the brand embraced an emerging artistic movement from the digital world, providing it with significant visibility and genuine recognition through an exhibition held in our tangible reality, in New York.

The New York exhibition was such a success that it will now tour several major cities worldwide, including Montreal, Tokyo, Paris, Chicago.

This campaign has positioned Ubisoft at the forefront of the international creative avant-garde, demonstrating that video games hold a place in 21st century art.

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