How academic research and video game production combine to shape the future of games with Ubisoft La Forge
During the opening of the Ubisoft Developers Conference (UDC), Ubisoft announced the expansion of its successful research and development model, La Forge, to several studios around the world, with teams now operating in Canada (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Toronto), China (Ubisoft Chengdu, Ubisoft Shanghai) and France (Ubisoft Bordeaux). UDC, Ubisoft’s annual gathering dedicated to technological innovation in video game production, runs from February 21 to 25 and features dedicated tracks on artificial intelligence and machine learning, two of La Forge’s key research areas.
Acting as a bridge between academic research and video games production, La Forge combines Ubisoft’s assets and data with the expertise of university researchers to drive innovation forward in the video game industry, while contributing to solving real-world problems through scientific publications.
After five years of exploration and experimentation, Yves Jacquier, Executive Director of Ubisoft La Forge, reflects on the expansion of the La Forge network and emphasizes its strategic role for the future, saying:
Our goal is to continue to grow while preserving our DNA: providing Ubisoft with in-depth knowledge on the disruptive technologies that empower our teams to deliver unique and immersive experiences, through responsible, people-centric development.”
Recent innovations from La Forge that are shaping the future of games, include:
- Choreograph: an animation technology invented by Ubisoft that enables widespread motion-matching to make character movements more natural and intelligent, notably used in Far Cry 6;
- FaceShifter: a solution that assists creators in the automatic generation of ultra-realistic faces for non-playable characters; and
- SmartNav: enables non-playable characters to move exactly as players would.
Through this expansion, La Forge is accelerating the implementation of its unique collaborative model, which has become a leading reference in R&D in the video game industry. With more than 70 prototypes – 30 of which have already been integrated into production technologies – and more than 25 major scientific publications, La Forge now represents the majority of the Ubisoft’s technological R&D activities, helping to support game creators, create increasingly realistic worlds, and develop high-performance tools that will improve player experience.
For more information about Ubisoft La Forge, please visit La Forge’s website