Why Ubisoft Ditched Unreal for Its Own Proprietary Tech

From IGN - September 15, 2017
By Alex Osborn

Ubisoft has been investing more and more into its own proprietary game engines, and, as a consequence, less and less in external providers like Epic and its popular Unreal Engine. Speaking to IGN at Gamesom 2017, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explained the reason behind the shift, citing control as a key factor.

When asked why we are seeing an increasing number of games at Ubisoft built using the Snowdrop engine, which not only powers The Division, but also Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Massive Entertainment's upcoming Avatar game, Guillemot said, "There are many reasons. The first one is to control your destiny."

Years ago, Ubisoft developed a number of its games in Unreal, including a several entries in the Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell franchises. However, the latest entry in the Ghost Recon franchise, Wildlands, was built in Anvil, a proprietary engine created by Ubisoft Montreal. So, why the change?

Guillemot highlighted the downsides of using an external partner, noting there came a time when Ubisoft was using Unreal that the royalty fee was doubled during the end of their negotiations. "So we had to stop, and then we realized that it was better to know what you have, and actually decide how much innovation you want to put in the technology," he said.

The Ubisoft CEO also cited the issue with Unreal during the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 generation, during which many developers who were using the Unreal Engine had trouble bringing their games to Sony's console.


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