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Ubisoft, Just Pay Fans With Money If You Want Their Work

'The Prize does not include any out of pocket expenses'

Yesterday Ubisoft, a company worth billions, announced a competition where a fan could win the chance to provide the voice of a non-player character (NPC) in the upcoming Assassin's Creed Shadows. They would not be paid for their services.

In 2018, Ubisoft asked fans to provide art and music for the seemingly-doomed Beyond Good & Evil 2, with only the promise of possible payment.

In 2019, Ubisoft asked fans to provide some music for Watch Dogs 3, only it was under the guise of 'spec work', which again carried with it only the possibility of a decent payment relative to the services provided.

All three decisions were roundly criticised by fans and professionals alike, for fairly obvious reasons. If you want someone to do work for you, pay them! Taking advantage of a game's fandom to get shit for free (or cheap) is deeply exploitative, particularly from a company as big as Ubisoft.

In this latest case, while there's at least some kind of compensation on offer beyond the exposure (the winner will be flown out to attend a voice-over session in London), even that "prize" has strict limitations (emphasis mine):

One (1) round-trip coach class air transportation for Winner and the person of their choice from a major commercial airport near Winner’s home (as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion) to London and between one (1) and three (3) nights accommodation at a hotel in London (exact dates to be confirmed later, dates and number of nights subject to change, standard hotel accommodation: one room, single or double occupancy, room and tax only).

Specific travel dates to be selected at Sponsor’s sole discretion. The choice of flight and hotel accommodations composing this Prize shall be decided by Sponsor at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Ground transportation may be provided, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, in lieu of air transportation if the Winner lives in the United Kingdom or countries close to United Kingdom (eg. France).

The Prize does not include any out of pocket expenses, extras, catering expenses, transportation costs to and from the airport and/or to and from
the Winner’s home or hotel, all of which shall be exclusively borne by the Winner

Travel must occur on the dates provided to Winner by Sponsor or Prize will be forfeited in its entirety without any further obligation to the Winner and may be awarded to an alternate winner, subject to time restrictions. Travel
restrictions, conditions and limitations may apply.

Estimated retail value of Prize may vary depending on point of departure, travel dates, ground transportation, and/or airline fare fluctuations. All elements of the Prize must be redeemed at the same time and no changes will be permitted after confirmation of any redemption.

Because only the main transport and accommodation is covered, and not getting around or eating, even winning the prize will put you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars out of pocket! Wow, what an opportunity!

Please, do not enter this.

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