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Assassin’s Creed Unity’s Notre Dame isn’t an Exact Replica Thanks to Copyright

by Joey Davidson | November 10, 2014November 10, 2014 8:30 am PDT

Notre Dame in Assassin's Creed Unity

While the 10 studios working on Assassin’s Creed Unity certainly have a huge love for Paris and its history, there are some things they weren’t able to recreate in pitch-perfect form for the game. In the case of Senior Level Artist Caroline Miousse, that imperfect recreation comes in the form of the beloved Notre Dame.

Notre Dame shows up in Assassin’s Creed Unity, and it’s something that anyone familiar with the building will likely be able to identify immediately once they see it virtually. Thanks to some copyright issues, though, this building isn’t as exact as one would imagine.

Miousse talked about this interesting dilemma with the UbiBlog.

When we started the research portion of the process, we had to be sure to investigate all the legal aspects. There are certain things we were actually unable to directly re-create due to copyright issues. But we chose not to see this as a negative. For example, when I look at the organ in Notre Dame, I think it’s a masterpiece. It’s just so huge and beautiful… and copyrighted. We couldn’t reproduce it exactly, but we could still try to nail the feeling you get when you see it. We kept it very similar in general appearance, and it’s only when you get close to it and really analyze it that you realize it’s not the same exact organ you would see in Notre Dame today.

So the copyright actually gave me the chance to be more creative with it. I needed to keep the feeling and the emotions, while making sure it was still recognizable. It gave me the opportunity to create something new from a starting point that people know and understand. It was a very interesting challenge and I had a lot of fun with it.

I’d personally never even considered the notion that this famous landmarks fall under copyright protection. It’s crazy to me that an organ constructed centuries ago can’t be faithfully recreated without legal consent from, I assume, France.

It’s a small thing, I know, but I’m just fascinated by this entire design problem.

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Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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