I absolute adore branding in video games. It’s one of the main reasons why I rate the WipEout series as high as I do. I think I felt something close to love for what Namco did in Ridge Racer Type 4, crafting a world, setting, and mood that is still unparalleled.
To me it is the quintessential Ridge Racer as a result. Likewise, I can really appreciate branding and UI design in games in general. The classic yet modern blues of Final Fantasy VII Remake. The brutal serifs and menus of Demon’s Souls. The sheer exuberance pouring from every graphic in Destruction AllStars.
Maybe you can then understand my utterly gobsmacked response to Ubisoft presenting their new pirate game logo as… “this”…
What in the seven seas is going on at Ubisoft, to give a 17th century pirate game the look of a random Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six game? Just slap a Tom Clancy’s on top and Bob’s yer uncle.
Actually, hold on.
There. I fixed it.
This is (partially) in jest of course, but if you look at the game’s official website and scroll down a bit, you do bump into the following artwork.
What are the odds this was originally meant to be the game’s logo? It would have made a much more flavourful jump off point for the branding. Maybe add a fancy serif for the wordmark? Hold on, I'll apply a few default settings. I'll even add "A Ubisoft original" as I'm feeling generous.
Now, that’s not great. At all. But blimey, I daresay it does sell the nature of the game a bit better. I have no idea why anyone would start with a sans-serif, cover the odds and ends with brushstrokes, and finally slap a CS:GO decal in front of it instead. It constantly clashes with the game itself. Why?!
Keelhaul the lot.