Ubisoft presented Ubisoft Scalar, a new production tool, at GDC 2022. Scalar, a project led by Ubisoft’s Stockholm Studio and spearheaded by the Technology Department, promises to allow game creators to construct significantly larger and better-simulated environments with a potentially limitless number of players.
This should not be confused with game streaming, which allows users to play existing games on devices with less processing capacity. Ubisoft Scalar (which isn’t a game engine per se, but rather a cloud-accelerated option for existing game engines) is leveraging distributed computing to improve the quality of upcoming games and open up a slew of new possibilities for developers who won’t have to worry about finite hardware limitations.
Naturally, this will present a new set of obstacles for creators as they consider what they want to do with all of this capability.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard statements like this. Google Stadia proposed a similar model for cloud-only games, however, the company later shut down its internal game studios and is now solely focused on licensing Stadia technology.
Ubisoft Scalar is unlikely to have the same problem. Even while the nature of Scalar means it’s also available to other Ubisoft studios like Kyiv, Malmö, Helsinki, and Bucharest, the first game to take advantage of the new technology will be a new IP in the works at Ubisoft Stockholm.
Players will have to wait a little longer, according to Patrick Bach, Managing Director of Ubisoft Stockholm, to see the first game in production with this technology. Given the studio’s nearly five-year history, it’s safe to anticipate a reveal won’t be far in coming.
• Games using Ubisoft Scalar can use a virtually unlimited amount of computing power, and
thus run anything from virtual worlds of unprecedented scale and depth to vastly detailed
simulations that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
• By placing microservices independently in the cloud, Ubisoft Scalar enables developers to
update and improve one service without impacting others, or even add new features or
components to a game without interrupting play sessions.
• Ubisoft Scalar’s purpose is to remove technical constraints for game developers, enabling
them to focus on creativity and design for never-before-seen player experiences.