BETC’S BENJAMIN LE BRETON AND ARNAUD ASSOULINE EXPLORE AN EXCITING CAMPAIGN FOR SEGA’S UPCOMING RELEASE, HUMANKIND, WHICH REFRAMES THE NARRATIVE OF HISTORY.
The thrilling trailer takes its audience on a trip through a history reinvented by its protagonist, Lucy, and demonstrates the game’s extensive possibilities, unique to each player.
Here, the Creative Directors of BETC Paris, chat about the creative behind the campaign and its high-pressure launch at the “Superbowl” of gaming.
Can you tell us a little about the creative concept behind this trailer for Humankind?
The concept of the Humankind video game is breath-taking: give gamers the possibility to rewrite the history of humankind and give it their own personal spin. When you start the game, each player is given the chance to reinvent history as they please and to mix civilizations thus creating alternate histories. It is this world of endless possibilities that we tried to express in the trailer, and it was the cornerstone of our thinking for the writing of the “Lucy” script.
How did you land on the campaign’s protagonist Lucy?
The game begins with a narrative that the history of humankind began with each individual player. We decided that for this trailer, it would be a woman named Lucy. Once we had chosen Lucy as our protagonist, we began to craft her personalised alternate history. It felt a bit unexpected to imagine history being led by a female character but Lucy represents the diverse range of gamers and the diversity of the game’s audience. She helped us stay away from clichés.
The eras Lucy finds herself in are so varied and elaborate! Can you tell us a little about casting and production?
The search went on for a long time. We knew we wanted to start Lucy’s journey during the prehistoric era and to end it in a utopia that she creates in the future. Between these two points, there were so many possibilities. We involved the production team during the writing process which made us adapt the script according to what we could achieve. We also collaborated with a historian that oversaw how historically correct the elements of each scene were. You could see it as fantasy, but this film is a lot more serious than you think.
The trailer was unveiled to 200 million spectators at The Game Awards. What was the reaction like? Why was this a good platform for the launch?
The Game Awards is the Superbowl or The Oscars for the video game industry. Launching a trailer there is the best springboard you could imagine. The reaction from the audience was great and enthusiastic. The only drawback was that we had a few Redditors, close to the alt-right movement in the USA, that were not happy to see the leader of humankind being represented by a woman of African descent. We can say that we are proud of the trailer, as is Amplitudes Studio (the creators of the game), especially given their reaction.
How do you think this trailer embodies SEGA and helps Humankind stand out from other games on the market?
The trailer was shown in between many other trailers for AAA titles. It was crucial that the trailer was on the same level as the competition. We were asked to show a preview of what Humankind would offer to gamers. The reaction of the audience that followed, along with the preorders of the game, made us confident that the trailer fulfilled its mission.