After a devastating fire caused major damage to the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris Moday, donations have poured in from around the globe. While money certainly helps, the church also needs a concrete plan on how to restore the damaged portions of the building, and Assassin’s Creed could be its saving grace.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral was featured as a fully explorable building in the 2014 Ubisoft video game Assassin’s Creed Unity, which is set in Paris during the French Revolution. Developers on the game spent 14 months recreating Notre-Dame for the digital world, a Ubisoft spokesperson told Mashable, with the structure becoming the game’s benchmark landmark for both player navigation and the visual standards of the game.
Although the Unity version of Notre-Dame represents the cathedral as it was in the late 1700s, it is still an impressive representation of the church as it looked right before the fire damaged the majority of its wooden structures and could be helpful as a reference in the restoration of the building.
“We would be more than happy to lend our expertise in any way”
In a statement regarding its involvement in the restoration process of Notre-Dame, an Ubisoft spokesperson said that the company is willing to help in any way it can, although the digital model of the building isn’t quite one to one with the real thing.
“It is important to keep in mind that what we did for the game was not a scientific reconstruction but rather an artistic vision,” the spokesperson said. “While we wanted to be very precise with details, there are some differences in terms of scale and with some elements. That being said, we would be more than happy to lend our expertise in any way that we can to help with these efforts.”
While at the moment Ubisoft has not been recruited by the church to help with restoration, the company did donate €500,000 to restoration efforts and has made Assassin’s Creed Unity free to play.
There’s one other recreation of the Notre-Dame Cathedral that could aid in its reconstruction — that of Vasser College architecture historian Andrew Tallon.
According to CBS News, Tallon spent years recreating the cathedral using photographs and laser technology, collecting a “billion points of data” on the structure which could be a key resource in the reconstruction.