E3 '07: Ubisoft Imagines games for girls

French publisher targets young girls with games about fashion design, figure skating, and veterinary medicine.


SANTA MONICA, Calif.--Rayman Raving Rabbids publisher Ubisoft is launching a new game brand called Imagine targeted at girls aged 6-14 years old. The company conducted "extensive lifestyle research" to target the things that girls that age were most interested in, and have made a series of DS games to match the youngsters' hobbies and interests.

The first games in the Imagine line will be coming in October 2007, Imagine Fashion Designer, Imagine Animal Doctor, Imagine Babyz, and Imagine Master Chef. The first title, Fashion Designer, will cast gamers as a hip Manhattan designer and have them run a fashion business, including creating their own clothes, directing fashion shoots, and sharing designs online with other gamers.

In sim game Animal Doctor, gamers play the role of a veterinarian, and diagnose and treat a variety of animals, add new facilities, and improve and expand the hospital. Master Chef is a recipe game a la Cooking Mama, where gamers will cook a variety of virtual dishes from across the world, and use the DS stylus to prepare, stir, and cook different ingredients. There will also be food-related minigames including kitchen challenges and cooking quizzes.

Babyz is the latest in Ubisoft's line of improperly pluralized game titles, following Catz, Dogz, and Ponyz. Babyz is a sim game where gamers have to raise and look after a newborn baby through all stages of development. The title will feature an online component which will allow people to swap tips and clothes for their little darlings.

In early 2008 Figure Skater will be joining the lineup. Players will take on the role of a female figure skater in the management sim, and her time needs to be managed so that she has enough training, schooling, and friends. Gamers use the DS stylus to control the figure skater's jumps, spins and combos while she's performing in competitions on the ice.

Ubisoft's senior marketing director, Helene Juguet, commented, "Our consumer research revealed that the young girls' market has been relatively overlooked. We are happy to introduce a variety of titles relevant to what girls in this age group have indicated they are most interested in."

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