Assassin’s Creed: Transmedia Storytelling

Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft’s Flagship Game of recent years with more than seven main installments and countless side movies that gap between games, and books, is a perfect example of a medium with various transmedia extensions. Assassin’s Creed is first set up in the era of the crusades, where the Assassins, a secret society whose creed is “Nothing is true, everything is permitted,” vows to protect the world from the Templars, an evil society that wants to find an ancient artifact, the Apple of Eden, which hides incredible power with which the Templars want to take over the world with.

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As Henry Jenkins states in his article, Transmedia Storytelling 101, transmedia storytelling “represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” Assassin’s Creed’s fans are a very loyal fan base, thus Ubisoft saw the need to create multiple small movies that bridged the storyline between games, further enhancing the games storyline. One example is Assassin’s Creed Lineage, a small three-part movie that sheds light into the past of Ezio Auditore’s Assassin Lineage, featuring his father, Giovanni Auditore, as an assassin of the Medici, a powerful political family during the renaissance according to an article form Rice University’s The Galileo Project, and how he is trying to uncover a conspiracy against the ruling body in Florence. Other side movies include Assassin’s Creed Project Legacy, Ascendance, Embers, The Fall, and The Chain (Assassin’s Creed Wiki).

Another kind of transmedia concept that the Assassin’s Creed Franchise embraces is that it itself is a multiform story. A multiform story is a “written or dramatic narrative that presents a single situation or plot line in multiple versions, versions that would be mutually exclusive in our ordinary experience (Murray 30). In the game, a bartender by the name of Desmond Miles, is kidnapped by a company of disguised Templars named Abstergo. They want to get their hands on the Apple of Eden, so they take advantage of Desmond’s “genetic memory” since he is part of the assassin’s lineage, to put him in the Animus, a machine that let’s a person relive their “genetic memories” in their minds, to retrieve the location of the Apple. In a way, Desmond is relieving his ancestor’s lives through his own perspective. Specially in the game Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, where Ezio Auditore is himself reliving a past Assassin’s memories to uncover the location of the Apple of Eden. That is, Desmond is connected to the Animus where he is reliving Ezio’s Memories where Ezio is himself reliving another assassin’s memories.

Wiki

Assassin’s Creed might be the best example of how the fandom of a game can push for more media related to a game, adding significance and knowledge about a game that is unprecedented.

Works Cited

Murray, Janet. Hamlet on the Holodeck- The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: The MIT Press, 1999. 30. Print.

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One comment on “Assassin’s Creed: Transmedia Storytelling

  1. The first paragraph of the text does an excellent job providing background information on Assassin’s Creed that can help any readers unfamiliar with these games follow your main arguments. The post does a great job providing context for the reader by introducing Jenkins’s text early in the post and even linking out to the source material. There’s an opportunity in the second paragraph of the blog to engage more with the readings and apply more terminology to the techniques in the movies. The end of the third paragraph gets somewhat confusing, but this could be fixed with some rewording (maybe have someone you know who hasn’t played the games read over it for suggestions). Also, specifying which game this act occurs in earlier in the paragraph could have helped the reader better understand how transmedia storytelling functions in this application. The last sentence of the blog leaves the reader with a clear sense of your main points.

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