In Defense of Jade Raymond, Producer for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed

If you’ve seen almost any interview or live demo for the upcoming game Assassin’s Creed, you’ve most likely seen the smiling face of the game’s producer, Jade Raymond. Yesterday in fact, G4TV’s Attack of the Show had the lovely Ms. Raymond in their studio talking about the game, which threw me off a little bit. I watch the show regularly, and whenever they get a developer in the studio, normally they just discuss the technical aspects of the game in what sounds like a pre-scripted breakdown of it. When Raymond was on however, she seemed more enthusiastic than the co-host interviewing her, Kevin Pereira. It was a little different and relieving in a way to see her joking around about different parts of the game and just generally having a good time.

But that also got me thinking about some of the mild controversy that surrounds her status as the main spokeswoman for the game. These days, every time her name is mentioned, it seems to draw two reactions from the gaming crowd: either “BLARG! she’s stupid! lols” or “ZOMG!!! she is teh h0tness!!!” To translate it into proper English, some people seem to think she’s getting all this attention because of her good looks and should be sharing the spotlight equally with her fellow developers; or they think the other side should shut up because it’s rare that anyone working in the game business gets this much attention, and besides she’s cute. I don’t blame the people questioning her position as the main spokeswoman for the game really; they’ve got a valid point. A game of this high caliber includes dozens of developers and creative designers, so why aren’t they given their fair share of the spotlight? But should Ubisoft really be pushing her out into center stage just based on her looks?

jade-raymond2-1.jpgPersonally, I don’t think it’s as simple as that, but even if it was, so what? This isn’t a new business practice, and it’s not exclusive to the entertainment industry. Wander into any fast food place and you’re likely to see a bubbly, blond teenage girl working the front counter, while a guy sits tucked away in the back behind the grill. The way I see it, if you’ve got someone working for your company who is already enthusiastic, well-spoken, and easy on the eyes, it’d be irresponsible not to put them front and center. Seriously, that’s just good PR.

Besides which, all major game releases seem to have one person given almost total share of the spotlight. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else give an interview on Gears of War except for Cliffy B. And why not? He always seems truly excited about the game whenever he talks about it. With Assassin’s Creed, your options here are having a warm, friendly woman tell you about the game or a random programmer telling you the exact same information. People also seem to forget, she’s the producer, and that’s a big job. Part of the reason she shows up at most public events for Assassin’s Creed is because it’s part of her job. At this past summer’s PAX, half of the industry people there were either PR reps or producers. Producers help tie all the elements together, so they tend to know all aspects of a game equally. And let’s not forget she graduated with a degree in computer science and started out as a programmer for Sony several years ago. Add to this the fact that she has experience in television as the host of G4′s The Electric Playground, and you’ve got a person who already sounds like a perfect spokesperson just on paper.

Maybe it’s just me not understanding what the big deal is. Personally, I’ve probably seen creative director, Patrice Desilets, discuss the game just as much as Raymond. I think it’s just the people who go a little overboard in praising her good looks that make people upset over her popularity. Frankly, it’s become more than a little creepy in certain instances (and this is coming from a guy who actively looks for excuses to post pictures of attractive women). At any rate, I’m just glad to see someone in the gaming industry getting this much attention, regardless of the reasons.

(Thanks to G4TV for the video!)

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36 Comments on In Defense of Jade Raymond, Producer for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed

Mr. Sadistic

On November 9, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Ugh whenever I see her I can’t help but say “Damn that is smokin’ hot.”

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

On November 9, 2007 at 2:45 pm

I’m sorry, I would have read that post but I was to busy staring at her picture

xp

On November 9, 2007 at 3:07 pm

I didn’t know anybody had a problem with her… as far as I’ve heard, everyone is happy that atleast one person in the industry is as fine looking as that…

Nyokai

On November 9, 2007 at 7:38 pm

Wonder if she talks in leet speak…

License to ill

On November 10, 2007 at 11:17 am

Another game I’ll be buying. :roll: Damn you 360 damn you to hell for stealing my weekends…

wyls

On November 10, 2007 at 10:14 pm

Does that have to show her face everytime. I mean she is okay to look at but I want to see visuals and info about the game not some …

AZN RYCE

On November 11, 2007 at 10:32 am

This game looks BEASTIN. That girl seems like she’s paid to smile at the camera!

Esse

On November 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm

C,mon now…she’s a good looking woman and she’s talking about gaming?! Ummm…she gives me a chub just looking at her.

Zero9

On November 11, 2007 at 4:57 pm

People are major Douche bags to the highest degree. I think she’s gorgeous but I don’t think she gets her recognition based off her looks. She obviously knows alot about video games and has alot of enthusiasm when it comes to this game. She’s producing a game and she is happy with all the work that is being done to it and thats a great thing, most producers don’t promote their product because they think it will be crap but thats not the case here. I wish people would stop being ignorant and actually think.

Andrew89

On November 11, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Leave it to a bunch of kiddie xbox nerds to come in here calling her a . What kind of low brow idiots are you?

Yes she is hot, does not mean she can’t also be a very capable producer.

CokeAColeA

On November 11, 2007 at 6:48 pm

@Zero9
Agreed, she may be good looking, but she does know alot about games and seems really happy with this one. I doubt that they would shove her in the spotlight just because she looks good, this isnt hollywood ppl you actually have to know something.

Rollett

On November 11, 2007 at 7:31 pm

I would like to see some of these kids win over a woman by refering to them as ** lol…

Aaron

On November 11, 2007 at 10:53 pm

Awwwww.. nice pic of her… :)

Doodad

On November 12, 2007 at 1:52 am

Hell, Lumberg ed her.

Michael

On November 12, 2007 at 7:49 am

Of course she’s the spokesperson for Assassin’s Creed she’s cool, she’s gorgeous and talks about video gaming.

Bequitos

On November 12, 2007 at 11:16 am

Men are pigs. Just because Jade is a woman and knows what she is talking about does not make her any different than a man. I look up to Jade. I believe she is incredibly brave for what she is doing and she is doing it ten times better than any man ever could.

More power to her. It’s about time there was a change in the industry.

It’s alright boys you can be jealous it doesn’t make you any less of a man.

Kareem

On November 12, 2007 at 4:38 pm

She gets all this controversy just cause shes a somewhat good looking woman? If she were a man we wouldn’t even be talking about this. You all make me sick. Well… it actually doesn’t surprise me. Even if someone on a gaming forum or in game claims to be a girl you got all sorts of nerds hitting on “her.” There is no proof to the claim and there is no hint if “she” is even good looking at all. Yeah, if you’re a halfway decent looking women in this industry you will get a lot of attention from many love starved gamers.

“Does that have to show her face everytime. I mean she is okay to look at but I want to see visuals and info about the game not some …”

Haha gotta love this comment. If she were a man you would shut your mouth up. It’s why its an interview, many developers get their face shown in them. Why is it any different if its a women? Oh right because you’re douchebag.

Lonewolf

On November 13, 2007 at 6:03 am

@Bequitos, Kareem

I agree totally.
But I disagree with the men are pigs comment. :cry:
Not all of us are mind-less mongrels only staring at the surface of things. Many of us, actually differ from the common nerd who sits at home all day feeling sorry for himself calling people all kinds of names and kicking up dust for the most idiotic things.

She IS the PRODUCER PPL!!! Its her Job to be in the spot light and advertise the game! She obviously knows a lot about the project/game, so What are you all complaining about?

I am a Lead Assistant Program Developer and I know ALL about the industry. When my company makes a sales pitch to sell our product we bring out the most able of us, who knows the work, who knows how to talk and with some appeal. Its called strategising.

I’m sick of all those nerds/idiots making the rest of the decent populous of men look bad! :evil:

ah…. :roll:
(sigh)

nothing will make that change tho….

Cpt Misogynist

On November 17, 2007 at 9:13 pm

What!? A hot woman? Someone tell that tramped up tart to get in the kitchen. And to COVER UP!!! Jeez. Put a burqa on that salacious, sexually ramped up, vivacious floozy. Come on, just put a bee-keeper suit on her already. Women are meant for sex, and sex only. Men do the thinking. Am I right? Am I right?

- This bigoted, sexist, misogynistic message has been brought to by:
Misogyny Organization Management Operations Resource
Chief President
Captain Misogynist

Misogymeister

On November 17, 2007 at 9:20 pm

I completely agree, Cpt Misogynist. Why, she should put on a burqa AND sunglasses. I don’t even want to see her sexpot-influenced, inferior-sexed eyes. How DARE Ubisoft use an attractive women, no matter what pertinent skills she may posses, as a spokesperson. I want my news from fat, disgusting, repulsive, hairy men with speech impediments and horrendous body odor.

Thank you.

-Fellow MOMOR organization,
Misogyny Organization Resources Operation Network.

David

On November 18, 2007 at 2:57 am

this really isn’t such a big deal. i watched an assasins creed preview where she talked about it and she did a good job and thats all i care about.

some guys act like they have never seen a pretty face before. it’s rediculous

David

On November 18, 2007 at 2:59 am

oh and as for Bequitos comment about men being pigs. it just sounds like you can’t get a boyfriend lol. you’ve got one huge chip on your shoulder

mindchamber

On November 18, 2007 at 1:07 pm

personally she comes off as a dunce. She really doesn’t seem to understand the game she is presenting. but thats juts me.

everyone keeps defending the fact that she was a programmer for sony. and a producer for other games.,

really now. which games did she help program? what other games has she produced?

Being a programmer for sony straight out of school should be a big deal .

personally I think she’s a fraud. Typical Eyecandy, for an very expensive game UBisoft cant afford to fail with.

Jonathan

On November 18, 2007 at 2:42 pm

actually, being a programmer for sony straight out of school wouldn’t be a very big deal. big companies hire recent grads all the time (hell, i know people who graduated with me who work for Sony, Apple, and Intel, off the top of my head). for that matter, being a programmer in general usually isn’t that big a deal, since there’s often a whole team of programmers working on a game (hence the reason we rarely see the programmers that work on games). but a quick look at Raymond’s bio (http://jade-raymond.com/bio.php) over at her unofficial homepage shows that most of her initial work was behind the scenes, expanding inner workings at Sony. she helped found the first Research and Development department for Sony Online, which at first offered all the Jeopardy games online. then she went to work for EA and eventually became the producer for The Sims Online. seven years later, she went to work for Ubisoft Montreal. so, yeah, she’s been in the industry for several years. Assassin’s Creed is just the first extremely hyped-up game she’s worked on, so it’s the first time she was in a position to even be noticed too much.

and i’m thinking the reason she ended up in the spotlight is she did a few demos for Assassin’s Creed (as any producer on a game would) and the nerds who aren’t used to seeing attractive women playing games starting buzzing on the internet about a hot new producer. the first time i ever even heard about her was when she did a demo of the game at this past E3; she wasn’t even talking at all, she was just the person on stage playing the game. yeah, i saw her and thought she was pretty cute, but i didn’t go nuts, like a lot of people did online after she gave the demo.

so, nerds, don’t go complaining that she’s getting all this attention when you’re the ones that first gave her the spotlight in the first place.

Hunterbob88

On November 19, 2007 at 9:09 pm

Personally, I find it sad that people think she’s only up there for her looks, I saw her on a TV show in Quebec (Tout le Monde en Parle) and she whas great. Other than her looks, she looks like she has a great personnality, she always seems relaxed and ready to have fun and she actually seems interested about what she talks about. I think saying men are pigs a bit harsh, we can’t help it if she’s beautiful, she really has a great facial expression. Obviously, some people will only see her as an object used by Ubisoft to advertise their game, but the reality is, I heard of Assassin’s Creed way before I’d heard of Jade Raymond… and I’m a teenage gamer who normally knows alot about the game world.

P.S. When i say gamer, I don’t mean someone who spends their whole days on MMORPG’s. I mean, someone who plays very good games, and who one day wants to design them.

Lonewolf

On November 21, 2007 at 7:10 am

This is so sad. Damn ppl keep throwing flack at her. Its just so sad.
Its so tiresome just to read the crap ppl say about her.
Idiotic nerds/gamers knows nothing. Even tho the game didnt turn out as awesome as most of us hoped it still was great.

Stop giving her crap for doing her job! Really!

She’s just a producer, producing a game. Give it a rest.

sean kennedy

On November 21, 2007 at 11:35 am

an amazing woman made an amazing game its the greatest and whoever done that picture is just except for the end that part messes with my head its so confusing coulld someone email me plz and tell me what that means! thank u

sean kennedy

On November 21, 2007 at 11:38 am

and i agree with hunterbob88 i watched most of her videos and i just thought she was nice but i am definitly more interested in the game

Bequitos

On November 21, 2007 at 12:52 pm

David,

Since when is this article about me? It’s about Jade Raymond sweetheart.

And yes I do have a boyfriend. I’ve had him for five years. Yes he is aware that I am a feminist.

Is it so wrong to support a producer who happens to be female? No. If it were any other man nobody would make any unprofessional comments about him.

So David, I would suggest breaking up with your level 69 Blood Elf “girlfriend” and talk to real gamers about passion for the industry. You may want to be careful you don’t end up a fat bastard character in a game.

Lonewolf

On November 22, 2007 at 8:45 am

Hahaha Good one @Bequitos

Jason

On December 26, 2007 at 10:07 am

to those who dispute Jade’s work history, a couple minutes googling will bring up several direct credits and references from the companies and other who worked with her:

Sims Online credits:

http://www.starpulse.com/Video_Games/Sims_Online,_The/gameinfo/The_Sims_Online/H35140/C/

co-workers blog personally referencing to Jade Working for Sony Online:

http://www.vh1gamebreak.com/2007/11/jade-raymond-in.html

credits for early MM online game ‘There’

http://www.mobygames.com/game/there

Please people you have the internet, a little basic research before posting opinion-base comments will clear up things a lot.

Jade is not an idiot:

fluent in both English and French

Jason

On December 26, 2007 at 10:09 am

…(Following on)

- CS Degree
- can speak in public
- has good taste in both movies and music (check her bio)

Chris Baizas

On December 26, 2007 at 1:39 pm

I disagree, Bequitos: Acting on mindless jealousy — using aggression to
corner and impede someone for purely jealous reasons — *does* make you
less of a man. Less of a fully realized human being = less of a man
(or woman).

Jason

On December 27, 2007 at 7:48 pm

to Mindchamber – do you really think it makes sense Ubisoft would put a dunce in the role of producer for their biggest game of the year? Top selling PS3 games must be pulling in at least 10′s of millions of dollars in profits, all which could be in jeopardy by poor management (most game prototypes don’t make it to production due to one problem or another).

I makes just as much sense for me to say they wouldn’t want someone incompetent in a major position which would be even more of a risk to their massive profits.

And what about the rest of Ubisoft’s developers on AC? If someone incompetent was put in charge of a project just for show, it would absolutely murder morale and lead to an exodus of talent which would hurt Ubisoft more in the long run.

I had never heard of Jade before this debacle and I have several friends currently playing AC. Maybe it’s because i don’t have the web back home. I did see plenty of TV ads showing the gameplay though (but not a glimpse of Jade).

So mindchamber i ask you (quotes) ‘really now. which games did you help program? what games have you produced?’ don’t bother replying, i will refuse to believe whatever you say, for no better reason than you.

Personally I think you’re a fraud. Typical blogtard, no research skills.

samurai-master

On December 28, 2007 at 4:33 am

this is for you jade Don’t listen to those idiots thay are pigs but don’t upset or somethin you are a nice person I can feel it cuz I’ve seen all your interviews and it’s so clear that you are a nice person and thanx for this great game :wink:

HAHA

On October 24, 2008 at 8:37 pm

so funny that some poor losers here are trying to get the favor or aceptation of that brainless “Bequitos” hahha… makes me realy laught

that kind of s thinks that they have the reason and the power because there are “brave womans” and come here in a prepotent way

“10 times better than a men” perhaps for that the games deserves a 7 of 10
BRAINLESS PIECE OF