If you haven't heard, the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France was partially destroyed in a fire earlier this week. It's a saddening architectural and artistic loss, but restoration efforts are already underway and look hopeful. As part of those efforts, Ubisoft is donating €500,000 to Paris organizers and giving away Assassin's Creed Unity, which features an almost one-to-one recreation of the Notre Dame, on PC via Uplay.
"We want to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame the best way we know how … When we created Assassin's Creed Unity, we developed an even closer connection with this incredible city and its landmarks – one of the most notable elements of the game was the extraordinary recreation of Notre-Dame," Ubisoft wrote in a blog post. "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."
This offer is now live on Uplay and will be available through 3am (local time) on Thursday, April 25. As long as you claim your copy of Unity in time, you'll get to keep it forever. You can find more details here.
In the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire, many have speculated that Unity's recreation of the church could prove instrumental in restoration efforts. The idea is that artists and architects brought in to restore the church will be able to use the game's painstakingly detailed 3D model as a guide, which does make some sense. I'm sure Paris officials and historians have access to other scans of the church, but it is cool to think that video game art can do some real good in this situation.
If we ever have to restore most of Washington, DC - knock on wood - I reckon The Division 2's irresponsibly detailed world will come in handy.