Ubisoft on Assassin’s Creed Unity: “Ubisoft Does Not Constrain Its Games”

October 10, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

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Fully addressing everything that came of the Assassin’s Creed Unity 900p/30fps announcement, Ubisoft Senior Communications Manager Gary Steinman put out a lengthy post on the Ubi Blog, clarifying this right off the bat:

Ubisoft does not constrain its games. We would not limit a game’s resolution. And we would never do anything to intentionally diminish anything we’ve produced or developed.

Tackling the notion that Ubisoft lowered Unity’s resolution on PlayStation 4, Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand said, “Absolutely not. We’ve spent four years building the best game we could imagine. Why would we ever do anything to hold it back?” He continued by admitting he understands how someone may have inferred that was the case based on his original comment, adding, “I simply chose the wrong words when talking about the game’s resolution, and for that I’m sorry.”

With the new-gen consoles’ power allowing Ubisoft to increase the NPC count to crowds of thousands, while also offering them the chance to include buildings at an almost 1:1 scale (previous games were roughly three-quarter size), Steinman talked about the complex reason behind Unity not hitting 1080p:

A game’s final resolution isn’t set until late in the development cycle. This is notable because the team has dedicated much of the past few months to optimizing Unity to reach 900p with a consistent 30 frames per second. Considering the sheer number of pixels that are being moved around at all times – which affects both the CPU and GPU – that’s a significant achievement, especially as Assassin’s Creed Unity will release when the new-gen consoles are barely more than a year old. (As with all hardware, it becomes easier to optimize with more experience and software/middleware solutions that only come with time.)

Pontbriand continued by pointing out how hitting 1080p would have resulted in compromising the gameplay:

[…] We made the right decision to focus our resources on delivering the best gameplay experience, and resolution is just one factor. There is a real cost to all those NPCs, to all the details in the city, to all the systems working together, and to the seamless co-op gameplay. We wanted to be absolutely uncompromising when it comes to the overall gameplay experience. Those additional pixels could only come at a cost to the gameplay.

What do you think of their response?

[Source: Ubisoft]