Ubisoft has pledged that it will donate $500,000 euros to restore the historic monument that has been partially raved by intense flames just a couple of day. In case you have been unconscious or living in a cave for the past week, the fire did extensive damage to the structure of the building; mainly the wooden roof of the church and a unique structure within the Notre-Dame known as “The Spire” has been completely destroyed.
France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, has vowed that the restoration effort will be completed within the next five years.
Don’t worry though, Ubisoft is here to help. In a Kotaku article, an Ubisoft spokesperson has mentioned the following:
“It is important to keep in mind that what we did for the game was not a scientific reconstruction but rather an artistic vision […] 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.”Ubisoft Spokesperson
So, while any kind of documentation is certainly helpful, people should note that developers are not faithfully recreating a 1:1 representation of the church; some artistic liberty with its design and proportions are essential for creative work such as a game. As such, it may not be suitable as the basis of the restoration project. As 3D scanning has been around a long time, it does not surprise me that there would be an accurate 3D archive of the entire church that already exists somewhere out there in the wild specifically just for these kinds of disasters.
Ubisoft, in another act of goodwill, will also be releasing Assassin’s Creed: IV to the PC for free which prominently features the Notre-Dame in its non-burning glory.