Ubisoft first unveiled the UbiArt Framework engine in 2010, and it has since led to several beautiful looking games. At total of 11 games across PC, consoles, and mobile devices were created with the engine, most notably Rayman Origins, Rayman Legends, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, and Child of Light. While the artistic styles this engine could create were generally well received, we haven’t seen a new game created with it since Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets for 3DS in 2015.
Until now, we’ve never gotten a concrete answer as to why UbiArt Framework seems to have gone dormant recently. Fortunately, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot gave some insight into the current status of the engine during an IGN Unfiltered interview.
According to him, the engine ended up not becoming as widespread as Ubisoft initially planned because “the tools were difficult to use.” Ubisoft did have greater ambitions for the engine, with Yves even saying that “at one point we wanted to give them to everybody [in Ubisoft].” As of now, Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Oksaka, Ubisoft San Francisco, and the now defunct Ubisoft Casablanca are the only Ubisoft studios to have created games with UbiArt Framework, with their Montpellier studio being the main creative force behind the engine and games like Rayman Legends and Valiant Hearts: The Great War.
That being said, Ubisoft noticed that they would have to “spend a lot of time with a lot of people to actually help people to use it” if they went down that route, so they ultimately decided against giving it to all of their studios. While it’s a shame that engine wasn’t as widely adopted within Ubisoft as Snowdrop, which powers newer games like Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Yves claims that we haven’t seen the last of UbiArt Framework. “It’s still there, and you will see other things using it, but it’s not as predominant as it used to be,” he concluded.
You can check out the whole IGN Unfiltered interview below (the UbiArt Framework discussion begins at 44: 10). If you want to try out some games created with the engine on Nintendo Switch, the Child of Light & Valiant Hearts: The Great War double pack is currently available on Amazon.