Ubisoft promises “unlimited power” with its cloud platform

Ubisoft Scalar is a new cloud acceleration tool that aims to eliminate the limitations of gaming PC hardware and facilitate bigger and more complex experiences

Ubisoft Scalar cloud computing logo on blue and pink backdrop

Ubisoft has revealed ‘Ubisoft Scalar’, a new cloud computing innovation that could help games ascend past the limitations of traditional gaming PC hardware. The publisher says its new production tool will help enhance game engines, allow for real-time updates, and enable the company to make bigger and more complex experiences.

Announced at GDC by Ubisoft Stockholm’s managing director Patrick Bach, technical director Christian Holmqvist and technical director Per-Olof Romell, Ubisoft Scalar aims to facilitate a “broader spectrum of games in the coming years,” that will be populated by a vast number of players. By using the cloud, the tool also splits engine elements into “microservices” that can be updated, patched, and enhanced without interrupting play sessions.

One of the main things discussed during Ubisoft’s Q&A-style reveal was the issue of hardware limitations, with Ubisoft Scalar being touted as a solution. Per-Olof Romell also hammered home the fact that the tool isn’t the same as streaming games via services like Nvidia GeForce Now, as it’s designed to enhance the quality of games, rather than distribute them.

The technical director also went on to clarify that “Scalar is an alternative and also an option for existing game engines to use to be cloud accelerable, both in terms of production but also in real-time experiences.” Naturally, this suggests that it could plug into the likes of the Ubisoft Snowdrop, which could lead to cloud-accelerated content in franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.

Ubisoft Scalar: Isometric diagram of map with green terrain and glowing dots

Ubisoft Stockholm says its currently working on a new IP powered by Scalar, but the tech is decentralised across the entire company. Therefore, there’s a chance it could end up enhancing upcoming releases like Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, but Patrick Bach says it’s too early to talk about “all the possibilities of this new technology.” Thankfully, Ubisoft Quartz didn’t crop up during the reveal, which hopefully means this cloud innovation isn’t inherently linked to the company’s NFT shenanigans.

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