Assassin’s Creed Maker Ubisoft gets technology for even bigger games

A great Viking warrior surveys a map covered with hundreds of symbols.

image: Ubisoft / Kotaku

Over the weekend, Ubisoft revealed a new cloud-based technology it is developing as part of a preview ahead of this year’s GDC. According to the Assassin’s Creed Publishers will use this new technology, dubbed Scalar, to allow their teams to create “even bigger worlds” than is currently possible.

No, you read the last sentence correctly. Ubisoft threatens us with bigger games, even if it publishes games that are probably already far too big. And to that I say: Ubisoft, stop and think about it. Please. I ask you.

Look, I’m not a Luddite. I like fancy new technology and software as much as anyone. And from a technical point of view, Ubisoft’s new Scalar system sounds cool, as reported by VentureBeat and According to the publisher, the technology supports all platforms and can run various components of pre-existing Ubisoft game engines – such as AI or physics systems – in the cloud, offloading the work to “a potentially unlimited number of machines,” enabling the company to essentially tap into an “infinite amount of processing power”. It would also allow Ubisoft to update games and add content to them without having to release specific platform patches.

Ubisoft detailed a few different ways this immense increase in performance could be used in video games, including future games that can support large numbers of online players simultaneously. Ubisoft also wants to create new types of games that don’t rely on limited processing power like most games do today.

“How do you re-imagine what games should be and what they could be in the future, and then start building on that to create new experiences?” said Patrick Bach, CEO of Ubisoft Stockholm, in a press conference. “Because in general, games are usually an iteration of what they did before. We want to break away from that and build something big.”

Wait wait. To stop.

Ubisoft keeps talking about building big games as if it hasn’t released well over a dozen massive 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 scared of what Ubisoft will end up creating with this new scalar technology. What does Ubisoft consider a great game if Valhalla is not it beautiful?

A viking warrior with two axes screams while standing on a rock as seen in Assassin's Creed.

image: Ubisoft

According to Ubisoft, the Scalar technology is not intended for streaming games for gamers like Stadia or Amazon’s Luna, but is instead intended to be used by developers. The idea is to give teams more freedom in creating games, allowing them to think beyond what a single PS5 or graphics card can handle. And while Ubisoft didn’t go into specifics 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. It also plans to let teams create “bigger worlds” for players… and I need to step in again. We’re sorry.

So how many more symbols on the map will this add in the future Assassin’s Creed or Ghost Recon games? I’m just a man living in this present reality. I have to sleep and eat. I barely have enough time to play recent Ubisoft open world games as they are. Now it wants to balance greater games? I just don’t know if I or anyone else out there can actually finish these games.

In the famous words of Jurassic Parkis Ian Malcolm: Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could or not that they didn’t stop to consider whether they should.

Accordingly, Scalar is being developed by a number of different Ubisoft teams, including Massive Entertainment and Redlynx. The plan is to roll out Scalar over time as future Ubisoft projects require the new features and increased performance it offers. God help us all as they connect Assassin’s Creed about this new technology. Assassin’s Creed Maker Ubisoft gets technology for even bigger games

Curtis Crabtree

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