Playing With Fire: A VR Game About The Notre Dame Blaze Is Being Developed - Play

Go back in time to revisit the Notre-Dame Cathedral during the 2019 fire.

Interactive entertainment company Ubisoft is developing a video game about the blaze that hit the Notre-Dame de Paris, also called Notre-Dame Cathedral, on April 15, 2019.

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At the time, a fire had started in the cathedral’s attic. The resulting inferno destroyed most of the roof, Viollet-le-Duc’s 19th-century spire, and some of the rib vaulting.

Ubisoft is a leading video game developer and publisher whose portfolio includes blockbusters like Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell, Rayman, and Just Dance.

They have partnered with film production and distribution company Pathé to create a virtual reality (VR) escape game based on the upcoming movie Notre-Dame on Fire—directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud.

The game will share the title of the said film.

Gameplay allows users to experience the fire for an hour, from the point of view of a firefighter.

“Like any escape game, it’s a question of puzzles and co-operating with your teammates,” Deborah Papiernik, Ubisoft’s SVP for New Business & Strategic Alliances, explained.

“The idea is to make your way through the cathedral to find relics and to fight the fire, because you have to save Notre Dame.”

Ubisoft worked closely with Annaud on the project. They even used the film’s screenplay to help develop the video game adaptation.

“That doesn’t mean we translated everything to gameplay; rather, it offered our team food for thought for our adaptation,” Papiernik said.

Prior to the project, Ubisoft had already featured the Notre-Dame Cathedral in a number of video game titles. These include Assassin’s Creed Unity and Eagle Flight.

At one point, they had also used detailed scans of the cathedral (originally for Assassin’s Creed Unity) to create a VR tour of the building that takes players inside and above it in a hot air balloon.

Following the April 2019 fire, Ubisoft donated 500,000 euros to support the restoration and reconstruction of the cathedral.

“Video games can enable us to explore places in ways we never could have otherwise imagined. We hope, with this small gesture, we can provide everyone an opportunity to appreciate our virtual homage to this monumental piece of architecture,” Ubisoft said.

Photo by Ubisoft

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