Jouer dur

Documentary
French (Available subtitled in English)

Region: Quebec

Year of Production: 2017

Duration: 45min 45s par épisode (3 épisodes)

In the largest video game studio on the planet, a team of 500 programmers and technicians are working feverishly on the development of For Honor, a video game where Vikings, knights, and samurai engage in an epic battle where only one team will survive. Like the characters in the game, the creative team behind For Honor will have to overcome tremendous odds and, ultimately, sell millions copies when the game is released.

For Honor is the dream of Jason VandenBerghe, a game creator who earned his wings in major US and European studios before touching down at Ubisoft Montreal, where he found the producer and the team with the belief and the wherewithal, structurally and financially, to make this dream come true. His meeting with Stéphane Cardin, the game’s producer, was the determining factor. With his wounds still raw after funding from his last production was withdrawn, Stéphane is desperate find another project to develop with the core of his remaining team. Which is why he’s betting the farm on Jason’s dream.

The number of studios with the capacity of creating AAA games decreases with each passing year. At Ubisoft Montreal, where the 2700 employees work on some 15 different game projects at the same time, the competition between projects can be fierce. Many never see the light of day, nipped in the bud before they even get off the ground.

Stéphane and Jason have convinced Ubisoft top management to invest massively in For Honor, so failure is not an option. Luc completes the dynamic trio. As marketing director – his job is to create an original, exclusive brand from scratch, and then ensure every single detail, from the logo to the trailer, and in all his dealings with others responsible for the brand around the world – he is also a major contributor to the game’s commercial success.

On the eve of presenting the For Honor trailer at E3 in Los Angeles, the video game industry’s biggest event of the year, the pressure level is about to go critical. Jason, Stéphane, and Luc have put their personal lives on hold and even given up sleep to deliver the goods that everyone’s waiting for. And once they do, they’ll have reached the point of no return. Players will wait for the game with baited breath, fans will be standing by to give it a thumbs-up, and the media will be on high alert to find any faults with it. If they don’t like what they see, the going will go from good to very bad in a hurry. But it’s not just sales to gamers that are at stake. The careers of the developers and their place in the video game ecosystem are also on the line.

To win the battle, Jason, Stéphane, Luc, and their loyal troops will have to go above and beyond what they’ve ever done before in order to meet the fateful deadline set for the global launch of For Honor. They’ll need to have solid strategies in place to get the attention of gamers and media, to convince their president in Montreal, head office in Paris, and the marketing department in San Francisco that the investments needed for success will make For Honor more profitable than other pending Ubisoft projects. Once this goal is achieved, the alpha version of the game will be released for hundreds of thousands of eager fans to test it for all it’s worth, another crucial step on the road to its worldwide launch.

Jouer dur is a documentary mini-series that offers unprecedented access to the super-secretive world of video game production, the world's largest entertainment industry. While the game is at the heart of the film, it’s the characters and the incredible challenges they must face that make Jouer dur such an action-packed documentary series. Just like in For Honor, they must fight the good fight on several fronts simultaneously…at work and in the marketplace, but also in their personal lives where they really pay the price. Because passion like this is something that can’t be dealt with just part-time.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: MC2 Communication média

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