Video game publisher Ubisoft, which recreated the Notre Dame Cathedral in its 2014 game "Assassin's Creed Unity," is willing to help in restoration efforts.
The company announced Wednesday it is making a contribution of 500,000 Euros (about $565,000) to the rebuilding of the cathedral. And the Paris-headquartered game maker said Wednesday it will make its virtual rendition of the cathedral available to those involved in the rebuilding of the church.
Ubisoft is also making "Assassin's Creed Unity" available free to players on PC for the next week. "As the smoke clears on the events that unfolded on Monday at the Notre-Dame de Paris, we stand in solidarité with our fellow Parisians and everyone around the world moved by the devastation the fire caused," the publisher said on its web site Wednesday. "Notre-Dame is an integral part of Paris, a city to which we are deeply connected. Seeing the monument in peril like this affected us all."
In addition to encouraging others to donate to the restoration efforts, the company said, "we want to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame the best way we know how."
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Ubisoft is headquartered in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris, and has studios throughout the world including in Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Malin, Barcelona and Shanghai.
It took the game company's designers 14 months to create the interior and exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral for "Assassin's Creed Unity," which is set in 18th century France.
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 period includes research, testing, asset production and, of course, the numerous adjustments and bug corrections," the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. "It ended up becoming our benchmark landmark, both for navigation and visual standards."
In the wake of the devastating fire that damaged the cathedral, some have wondered whether the technology used to create Ubisoft's virtual Notre Dame Cathedral might be useful in restoring the actual church.
"It is important to keep in mind that what we did for the game was not a scientific reconstruction but rather an artistic vision," Ubisoft said in a statement. "While we wanted to be very precise with details, there are some differences in terms of scale and with some elements. That being said, we would be more than happy to lend our expertise in any way that we can to help with these efforts."
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ubisoft pledges monetary, tech assistance for Notre Dame Cathedral restoration