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Highlights

8 Years of The Ones Who Came Before:
Looking Back

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10/8/22                                   By Colum Blackett                                     Edited by Ashlea Blackett

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Today, 10th August 2022, The Ones Who Came Before Assassin's Creed Fan Community celebrates eight years since its launch on Facebook and Twitter. What started out as a small-time hobby set-up by two brothers has now blossomed into a highly active online community and well respected media outlet. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved so far, and will continue to provide diverse content going forward. But for now, let's take a look back at eight glorious years of TOWCB!

About the Author

Col is the Community Admin for The Ones Who Came Before, and one of the Assassin's Creed Community Ambassadors (formerly for The Mentors Guild.)

He is also a former Ubisoft Star Player, and has spent the last 8 years working within the Assassin's Creed community on countless projects.

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Colum Blackett

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Memory by Kangarrru (Valorianru)

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Col: I started The Ones Who Came Before back in 2014 with my brother as a place for Assassin's Creed fans to share their theories. At first, I felt like a small fish, doing everything possible to be noticed. Other communities at the time had thousands of followers on Twitter, and we were struggling to pass 100. After some time writing theories on our Facebook page, one theory stood out for fans. The Norway Theory proposed that Ubisoft would soon close the gap between the Assassin's Creed Initiates platform and the games, moving the Modern Day to this location as the Assassins began to rebuild. Although this didn't actually happen, elements of the theory were correct, and this passion for theory-crafting led to our community growth, as people began to engage with us.

In 2015, I received my first opportunity from Ubisoft. Community Developer Justin Kruger was setting up an Assassin's Creed Unity Multiplayer livestream, and invited me on as a guest! I was absolutely thrilled to be selected, and it really kick-started my passion for the Assassin's Creed community, and helped me recognise it as a force for good, inspiring and bringing people together. You can still watch the livestream here!

Col: After the livestream in 2015, I continued to work on my theories, and even started up a Youtube channel for TOWCB to explore them in more detail. I began building a small team, bringing onboard three members: Caroline, Sofija and Irakli. This helped me to recognise the importance of team work, and having people onboard with different skill sets to my own. 

With the help of our graphic designer Irakli, The Ones Who Came Before began to take on an identity of its own. We had a small team, new logo, Facebook, Twitter, Website (Weebly) and Youtube account. The seeds for success were planted.

Col: 2016 was the turning point for our fan community. We were now an officially recognised fan community which had grown to over 15,000 members across social media platforms. Ubisoft invited me to join the Star Players Program, which was an incredible opportunity, leading to my first ever trip abroad attending Gamescom 2016 in Cologne, Germany!

Later in the year, I was also recruited once again by Ubisoft, this time to help promote and launch the Assassin's Creed Movie! I was one of a handful of Assassin's Creed fans around the world to be given the opportunity. The Community Team granted early access to a pre-order program known as Kernel, where fans could pre-book tickets and order exclusive merchandise. We had a video prepared breaking it down in detail , ready for its launch.

I attended two London events for the Assassin's Creed Movie in 2016, the first of which was to watch and review the first 20 minutes! This incredible event was attended by media outlets, with myself being the only fan to be invited, and actually led to our first major interview, Aymar Azaïzia, (Head of Content for Assassin's Creed). I also met film director Justin Kurzel and costume designer Sammy Sheldon!

Everything changed after that. Major Youtube Channels began covering my written account of the Movie, crediting The Ones Who Came Before. I joined a secret group of Assassin's Creed made up of influencers from around the UK. Ubisoft wanted me to work alongside me and my community more regularly. I felt like Assassin's Creed royalty!

In November 2016, I was once again invited to London, this time to attend the film's fan premiere. This was a really cool event, and I actually met members of the community who would also go on to join The Mentors Guild years later! 

I also met my wife Ashlea around that time at University, who is now the Editor / Charity Project Coordinator for The Ones Who Came Before!