Ubisoft Continues Pro Gaming Support

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Emerging Business Models

FragFrench game publisher Ubisoft continues to support the professional gaming leagues with its sponsorship of the all-female Frag Dolls team. To gain additional media attention and add another member to the team, Ubisoft has teamed up with GameTrailers.com, an MTV company, to chronicle the search for the new member. The Web site will air five video shows beginning this week that follow the team's search for a new female pro gamer as a team of judges narrows down the eight finalists to one winner.

This variation on "American Idol" finally gets life online, after years of trying to find a network TV deal. As pro gaming continues to grow, and more networks look to support pro gaming events with original programming, its likely that this show, if produced right, will find a space on TV--perhaps even on one of the MTV networks, or at least on its Overdrive initiative.

A growing area within professional gaming is the females who take on the best players in the male-dominated e-sport category. While the Frag Dolls serve a double purpose, to promote Ubisoft games like "Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter," many of the girls are pro gamers with other clans. The community manager at Ubisoft is Frag Dolls captain Morgan Romine.

Ubisoft partnered with THX to host the two-day event in San Rafael, where the five episodes were taped. In addition to competing against one another in videogames like "Halo 2," the eight finalists
answered questions from male judges in the games industry and did on-camera interviews.

I expect more opportunities to arise for pro gamers, and not just the top male gamers. Anyone who watched the A&E documentary series, "Rollergirls," which focused on the Austin, TX pro roller derby league, knows that female athletes can make for interesting TV. While there's not as much action with game tournaments (when compared to the physical battles of roller derby), there is drama built-in because of the male-dominated pro gaming circuit. And with the travel around the world to events, there's plenty of room to build an interesting show around. Male gamers will be more interested in watching attractive females playing games, as well, which is an added bonus.

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