As part of Ubisoft’s mission to provide engaging, creative, and fun experiences, the next six-month season of the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab – a program that aims to support entrepreneurs and startups by providing access to expert assistance and world-class facilities – will be partly dedicated to the theme of social entertainment and will explore how to make entertainment experiences that are socially inclusive, empowering, positive, and accessible.
In the previous season of the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab, the theme focused on designing products and services to enhance the gaming experience before, during, or after a game session. This led to a close collaboration with the French startup Immersiv.io, which aims to enhance the live sports experience using AR technology. This collaboration seeks to offer fans the opportunity of a unique augmented esports experience, giving them access to real-time data and statistics, on top of the thrill of the live experience. Another interesting collaboration was formed with the South Korean startup Planetarium, which created an open-source blockchain engine that allows players to mod persistent online games, empowering and encouraging its community to conceive and create the games they want to play.
“This season, we want to focus specifically on social entertainment,” says Catherine Seys, Program Director of the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab. “We want to keep on exploring this path for gamers, modders, and viewers of our content. Together with talented entrepreneurs working across different fields of entertainment — music, video production, live shows — we wish to contribute to creating the engaging, creative, and fun bonding and entertainment experiences of tomorrow.”
Social entertainment includes gaming with friends, groups, and/or social networks, but also covers a much broader spectrum of entertainment and human interaction. The boundary between players and spectators has thinned in recent years, with the popularity of streaming platforms allowing content creators to bring their fans live content with a high level of interaction. The rise of esports also marks a surge in people’s desire to come together and share an experience, whether by filling out stadiums to cheer on their favorite team, or chatting with others watching the tournament stream. Communities have sprung up around modding or customizing games. Designers are taking this into account more and more, and gamers are becoming increasingly empowered as stakeholders in the future of entertainment.
Gaming today is more focused on community, lifestyle, and collective creativity than ever before. Gamers want to participate in the complete experience, eager to share it with friends and others the world over. The phenomenon is fostered by the development of other technologies, such as blockchain, which facilitates modding communities and cloud-gaming sessions hosting thousands of people.
Do you think your startup could be developing the social entertainment experiences of tomorrow? Apply for Season 5 of the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab. For more on the program, check out our previous coverage.