Ubidays at the Louvre

"The Big" is the iconic teaser for Ubisoft's Gamer's Day at the Louvre in Paris, France.
John Gaudiosi is our guest contributor for this article. He's a national journalist who has written for several online media publications on the video game industry for well over a decade now.

PARIS, FRANCE-Ubisoft, the French publishing giant best known for its very American franchises like Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, held its second annual Ubidays in Paris at the world-famous Louvre museum. Over 1,200 journalists from around the globe, including just a dozen from the U.S., were shown an exclusive trailer for 2009's Beyond Good and Evil 2 at a packed news conference at the Louvre's Carousel

Ubisoft rolled out playable versions of key fall franchises, including two new Tom Clancy games-Tom Clancy's HAWX and Tom Clancy's EndWar, at the event. This marks the 10th Anniversary of the Tom Clancy franchise, which Ubisoft acquired with its purchase of Clancy's game development studio in Raleigh, NC, Red Storm Entertainment, in 2000. After 50 million units sold in a decade across all of the brands, Ubisoft acquired all rights to the Tom Clancy name for use in new games, like the two mentioned above, and for new novels, movies and other merchandising opportunities moving forward.

"EndWar will have playable Ghost Recon units and HAWX jet fighters, moving forward, there will be more crossover with the Tom Clancy brands," said Oliver Green, who heads up the Tom Clancy brand at Ubisoft.

Another example of this crossover was on display in HAWX, in which players get to experience a level of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 from the perspective of the jet pilots early in the new air combat game. The new game, which is in development at Ubisoft's Bucharest studio, focuses on an elite jet pilot's adventures through the unfriendly skies. Set in 2012, the game offers a 15-level single-player mode that allows up to three friends to jump in online any time they want and dogfight too. The game utilizes 50 licensed jets from around the globe and offers photorealistic visuals. The level shown in Paris took place in Rio de Janeiro. In order to appeal to a more mainstream audience, HAWX offers an assistance mode that streamlines the fighting experience. Once graduated, pilots can turn this off and engage in realistic battles (with an arcade take) from a multitude of cinematic camera perspectives.

In Shanghai, a team that once numbered 200 is finishing up work on Tom Clancy's EndWar, the first real-time strategy game that can be played from start to finish without a controller. The entire game can be experienced with voice commands, allowing gamers to control the action just as a general would in the real battlefield. Using about 80 words, which can be combined for over 6,000 unique commands, players can engage in World War III in major cities across the globe, including Paris. Set in 2020, the game pits the U.S., Russia and Europe in a final conflict in which long-range nuclear weapons have been deemed useless. This battle takes place on the ground and in the air with conventional weapons, opening up gameplay to a more fast-paced, and less predictable, series of engagements. With 40 territories across the globe, EndWar offers a multitude of multiplayer game modes, including Theater of War, which allows groups of eight players engage in four-on-four battle in a persistent online world.