Edge|September 2020
Late to the party, Ubisoft’s first battle royale shooter fights for attention

Developer/publisher Ubisoft (Montreal)

Format PC, PS4, Xbox One

Origin Canada

Release Summer

How wonderfully French of Ubisoft to nonchalantly roll up halfway through 2020 with a battle royale shooter. Yes – long after most of the other big studios have had their fun with the hottest genre of 2017, Ubi Montreal has finally arrived with its own offering. On paper, this free-to-play effort makes total sense: Ubisoft’s expertise in liveservice games is not to be sniffed at. Nor, indeed, is Montreal’s pool of design talent, which gave rise to Rainbow Six Siege, one of the best tactical shooters in recent memory.

It’s a combination that seems set up for success. So why is Hyper Scape only just happening now? For senior producer Graeme Jennings, it comes down to the studio’s desire to craft a fresh and compelling take on a genre that’s “very different for us”, as well as deliver it in a sustainable fashion. “I think in terms of timing, we wanted to build a real high-quality product that players would enjoy, start to play and stay in – you know, be brought into because the core gameplay was great and fun, and then kept in because we had an amazing story on top,” he explains. “And I don’t just want to launch a great game, I want to make sure our quality of service is top-notch. So we really bring it now because it’s ready to be there.”

The infrastructure is thanks in part to the Siege team, which has been a useful source not only of knowledge, but of foundational tech. “We started the technology from the Rainbow Six engine,” Jennings says. “It’s been changed a lot obviously, because they have five versus five [players], and a 100-by-100 metre fully destructible environment, whereas we have 100 players in a one-by-one kilometre all urban environment. But the core tech from them stood up: the way the servers work, the core things around matchmaking. So we started from that tech base and then expanded it.”


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September 2020