Matilda Rapaport, the 30-year-old Swedish skier who died Monday from injuries sustained in an avalanche in Chile, had been filming promotional materials for an upcoming video game. The game, called Steep, is being produced by Ubisoft, a video game developer and publisher based in France. Known for popular games such as the Assassin’s Creed series, Ubisoft is a multinational brand with multiple subsidiaries across the globe, and whose annual revenue tops $3 billion. The company announced the production of Steep earlier this year, with the gaming site Venture Beat stating the game combines Ubisoft’s penchant for including risk-taking and “open-world big-budget design.”
During the game, players have the option of skiing and snowboarding, as well as using a wingsuit or paraglider, to descend big mountains across the world.
“The most exciting element of Steep…is the open-world of the mountain ranges,” notes a review on the gaming site GameSpot. “The game does not guide you down any one specific path—unless you are partaking in a pre-set challenge. Instead, you have the freedom to explore however you want. Also, at any time, you can switch between any of the four extreme sports activities. You can ski or board up to a cliff and then, with the press of a button, equip your wingsuit and soar down the mountain in an entirely new way.”
Details of the accident remain sparse. Attempts to find and contact skiers or filmers who may have been with Rapaport that day have been unsuccessful, making it difficult to discuss details of the incident. Various media reports say Rapaport, a well-liked and high-ranking competitor on the Freeride World Tour, was on her second run in the Farallones backcountry when the avalanche overtook her. While she was reported to have been wearing an air bag, it’s unconfirmed whether she was able to activate the system. After being recovered from the snow and flown to a hospital in Santiago, she was placed in a coma. She died four days later, the cause of death attributed to oxygen deprivation.
In a statement provided to GameSpot, a spokesperson for Ubisoft said, “We are deeply saddened to learn the death of Matilda Rapaport, the remarkable Swedish freeskiing athlete. During a video production in Chile on Thursday, July 14th, Matilda was caught in an avalanche. Despite the medical care and treatment over the subsequent days, it was not possible to save her life.”