Ubisoft Pledges $500,000 to Notre Dame Restoration

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The French video game company is also offering its 2014 game, 'Assassin's Creed: Unity,' which features the cathedral, for free.

French video game company Ubisoft has donated 500,000 euros to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris following the devastating fire that damaged the church Monday. Additionally, the company will be offering its 2014 title, Assassin's Creed: Unity, in which the cathedral is featured, as a free download on PC for the next week.

"As the smoke clears on the events that unfolded on Monday at the Notre-Dame de Paris, we stand in solidarité with our fellow Parisians and everyone around the world moved by the devastation the fire caused," Ubisoft said in a statement. "Notre-Dame is an integral part of Paris, a city to which we are deeply connected. Seeing the monument in peril like this affected us all."

Ubisoft, founded in 1986, is headquartered in Montreuil, France, just outside Paris. It is one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, valued at over $10 billion. In 2018, the company posted over $1.5 billion in net income. 

One of Ubisoft's longest-running and best-selling franchises, Assassin's Creed, featured a painstakingly rendered re-creation of the Notre Dame cathedral in its 2014 title, Assassin's Creed: Unity. The game is set during the French Revolution and presents notable French landmarks as they appeared during the time period. 

Senior level artist Caroline Miousse told Destructoid in 2014 that she spent over two years rendering the in-game version of Notre Dame for Unity. In the game, players can enter the cathedral, walk around in it and climb its interior and exterior. 

"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," a spokesperson for Ubisoft told The Hollywood Reporter. "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 is not alone in its donation, as major brands such as Louis Vuitton, Kering, L'Oreal and Disney have also pledged funds, bringing the total to more than $725 million.