Marketable religion: How game company Ubisoft commodified religion for a global audience

Lars de Wildt, Stef Aupers

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkeliScientificvertaisarvioitu


Videogame companies are selling religion to an overwhelmingly secular demographic. Ubisoft, the biggest company in the world's biggest cultural industry, created a best-selling franchise about a conflict over Biblical artefacts between Muslim Assassins and Christian Templars. Who decides to put religion into those games? How? And why? To find out, we interviewed 22 developers on the Assassin's Creed franchise, including directors and writers. Based on those, we show that the "who" of Ubisoft is not a person but an industry: a de-personalized and codified process. How? Marketing, editorial and production teams curb creative teams into reproducing a formula: a depoliticized, universalized, and science-fictionalized "marketable religion." Why? Because this marketable form of religious heritage can be consumed by everyone-regardless of cultural background or conviction. As such, this paper adds an empirically grounded perspective on the "who," "why," and "how" of cultural industries' successful commodification of religious and cultural heritage.

DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaE-pub ahead of print - 28 jouluk. 2021
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä


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