Following the fire that ravaged the cathedral last Monday, Ubisoft has announced that they are donating €500,000 to the restoration fund. Ubisoft recreated Notre-Dame Cathedral as the centre piece of game Assassin’s Creed Unity, set in Paris during the French revolution. Released in 2014, the title was praised for its detailed recreation of Paris. Despite some issues during those years in matters of gameplay and storytelling, Ubisoft could never be faulted for their passion in recreating historic landscapes.

Having played AC Unity on release, I truly fell in love with the cathedral, despite never having had the opportunity to visit it in real life. It was heart breaking to the see the real spire fall, where I spent so much time perching, in game, watching as packs of soldiers hunted the streets for me, whenever my stealth attempts failed.

For those who never got to see the Notre-Dame Cathedral in real life and doesn’t own Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ubisoft have made the game free to play and download until April 25th. Once claimed the game will be yours forever. You can get it by visiting the following link:

It really is sad to see such destruction to a cherished and iconic historic building. However, this event does also show the power of video games, and their potential in preserving detailed, visual records of these buildings and sharing them with people who may not otherwise be able to visit or enjoy them in real life. Without a doubt, I felt the destruction of the cathedral more keenly due to the time I spent digitally roaming its majestic structure in AC Unity. In the game, it provided me with a well needed sanctuary, just as it did for many, many people in real life. Allowing people to experience it in game for free, is a kind and touching gesture from Ubisoft as well as their donation.