March 17, 2019 Ubisoft is donating €500,000 to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Ubisoft has announced that it’s donating €500,000 ($564,000, £433,000) “to help with the restoration and reconstruction” of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which was severely damaged in a fire that saw the building’s spire, and roof destroyed, as well as much of its original woodwork.
In a press release issued earlier today, Ubisoft also announced that “we want to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame the best way we know how.” To that end, the company is giving away Assassin’s Creed Unity – which is set in Paris and features a highly-detailed digital version of the Cathedral – for free.
The deal is limited to PC, and you’ll be able to download the game via Uplay or the Assassin’s Creed website for a limited time – Ubisoft’s press release says it’ll be available for one week, meaning you’ll have access to it from 16:00 today until 09:00 on Thursday, April 25 (depending on your local time).
A report by The Verge from 2014 says that Caroline Miousse, a senior level designer on Assassin’s Creed Unity (set in Paris during the French Revolution) spent two years building the game’s version of the iconic cathedral. Miousse reportedly worked with texture artists to ensure that no brick was out of place, and with historians to help place relevant artwork.
In a Q&A from Ubisoft, Miousse said that the game’s version of the building was built to an almost “1:1 ratio,” and guesses that around 5,000 hours over 14 months were spent on Notre-Dame alone.
Unity’s version of Notre-Dame is not entirely historically accurate, as the cathedral’s spires were added to its real-life counterpart after the events of the game. Despite the differences, however, Ubisoft’s digital mapping could come in useful when attempting to rebuild the Cathedral.
Nevertheless, the ability to explore a detailed version of both the inside and outside of the cathedral could prove extremely useful when it comes to rebuilding parts of it that were damaged or destroyed in the fire.
Ubisoft’s version isn’t the only recreation of the cathedral that the restoration team will have at their disposal, however. A report from National Geographic references art historian Andrew Tallon’s use of laser scanners to create a model of the building “accurate to within five millimetres.”