Over the weekend, as part of a preview ahead of this year’s GDC, Ubisoft unveiled new cloud-based technology it’s developing. According to Assassin’s Creed publisher, this new technology, dubbed Scalar, will allow its teams to create “even larger worlds” than what is currently possible.
No, you read that last sentence correctly. Ubisoft threatens us with bigger games, even if it publishes games that are probably already way too big. And to that, I say: Ubisoft, stop and think about it. Please. You’re welcome.
Look, I’m not a Luddite. I like new technologies and sophisticated software as much as anyone else. And from a technical standpoint, Ubisoft’s new Scalar system looks cool, as reported by VentureBeat and GamesIndustry.biz. According to the publisher, the technology supports all platforms and can run various components of already existing Ubisoft game engines, such as AI or physics systems, in the cloud, offloading the work to “a number potentially unlimited number of machines”, allowing the company to essentially harness an “infinite amount of computing power”. It would also allow Ubisoft to update games and add content to them without having to release platform-specific patches.
Ubisoft has outlined various ways to use this immense power boost in video games, including future games that can support large numbers of online players at once. Ubisoft also wants to create new types of games that would not be dependent on limited computing power, as is the case with most games today.
“How do you reimagine what games should be and what they could be in the future, and then start building in that direction to create new experiences?” said Patrick Bach, general manager of Ubisoft Stockholm, during a press briefing. “Because in general games are usually an iteration of what he’s done before. We want to free ourselves from that and build something big.
Wait, wait. Stop.
Ubisoft keeps talking about making games that are big, like it hasn’t released more than a dozen giant open-world games that take players months to complete. Maybe Ubisoft doesn’t consider these games “big”. But if that’s the case, I’m really freaked out by whatever Ubisoft will end up creating with this new Scalar technology. What Ubisoft Considers a Big Game If Valhalla isn’t it already?
Ubisoft says the Scalar technology is not intended to deliver games to gamers, like Stadia or Amazon’s Luna, but is instead intended for use by developers. The idea is to give teams more freedom when creating games, allowing them to think beyond what a single PS5 or video card can handle. And while Ubisoft didn’t go into detail in its GDC press briefing, it’s confident that this cloud-based technology will enable its developers to create new, never-before-seen player experiences. He’s also considering letting teams create “bigger worlds” for players…and I have to step in again. Sorry.
So how many more icons on the map will this end up adding in the future Assassin’s Creed Where Ghost Recognition Games? I am just a man, living in this current reality. I have to sleep and eat. I barely have enough time to play current open world games from Ubisoft. Now he wants to do it again bigger Games? I just don’t know if I, or anyone else, will be able to complete these games.
In the famous words of jurassic parkis Ian Malcolm: Your scientists were so concerned about whether or not they could, that they didn’t consider whether they should.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Scalar is created by a bunch of different Ubisoft teams, including Massive Entertainment and Redlynx. The plan is to roll out Scalar over time, as future Ubisoft projects will require the new features and increased power it provides. God help us all when they connect Assassin’s Creed to this new technology.