“We would not limit a game’s resolution” says Ubisoft

By Brenna Hillier
10 October 2014 05:18 GMT

Assassin’s Creed: Unity’s resolution hasn’t been artificially constrained to achieve platform parity, Ubisoft has said, apologising for comments suggesting this was so.


Assassin’s Creed: Unity runs at 900p and 30FPS on both PS4 and Xbox One, and Ubisoft staunchly insists this is not because one console is being held back to match the other.

“Ubisoft does not constrain its games. We would not limit a game’s resolution. And we would never do anything to intentionally diminish anything we’ve produced or developed,” Ubisoft senior communications manager Gary Steinman said on the Ubiblog.

Senior producer Vincent Pontbriand, whose comments sparked off the drama, apologised for his careless words.

“We’ve spent four years building the best game we could imagine. Why would we ever do anything to hold it back?”

“We’ve spent four years building the best game we could imagine. Why would we ever do anything to hold it back?” he said. “I simply chose the wrong words when talking about the game’s resolution, and for that I’m sorry.”

Stressing Unity’s technical accomplishments (huge crowds, 1:1 scale architecture), Steinman said the latest game is “pushing the new-gen systems more than any other Ubisoft game has ever done”.

“A game’s final resolution isn’t set until late in the development cycle. This is notable because the team has dedicated much of the past few months to optimizing Unity to reach 900p with a consistent 30 frames per second,” he wrote.

“Considering the sheer number of pixels that are being moved around at all times – which affects both the CPU and GPU – that’s a significant achievement, especially as Assassin’s Creed Unity will release when the new-gen consoles are barely more than a year old. (As with all hardware, it becomes easier to optimize with more experience and software/middleware solutions that only come with time.)”

Pontbriand said that while many gamers consider 1080p with 60FPS to be the “gold standard”, it wasn’t right for Unity.

“We made the right decision to focus our resources on delivering the best gameplay experience, and resolution is just one factor. There is a real cost to all those NPCs, to all the details in the city, to all the systems working together, and to the seamless co-op gameplay,” he said.

“We wanted to be absolutely uncompromising when it comes to the overall gameplay experience. Those additional pixels could only come at a cost to the gameplay.”


What is going on?

Missed all the drama? Pontbiard recently said in an interview that the PS4 and Xbox One versions were locked at the same resolution “to avoid all the debates and stuff”.

This immediately set off an uproar, despite Ubisoft’s follow-up statement:

“Pontbriand’s quotes have been misinterpreted. We did not lower the specs for Assassin’s Creed Unity to account for any one system over the other. … At no point did we decide to reduce the ambitions of any SKU.”

Another Ubisoft statement suggested that the final call on resolution hadn’t even been made.

“Final specs for Assassin’s Creed Unity aren’t cemented yet,” a representative commented.

In a more recent statement, level designer Nicolas Guérin said Ubisoft chose to aim for 30FPS because it feels “more cinematic” and suggested that the games industry as a whole is abandoning 60FPS.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity is coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One in November.

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