If you’ve been following Tom Clancy’s The Division closely you’ll have noticed developer Ubisoft Massive has been building the co-op shooter in an all-new game engine of its own creation. The so called Snowdrop Engine was designed specifically for what The Division needed, including dynamic day / night schedules, easy porting between console and PC, and the ability to quickly and easily create large, stunning looking environments from relatively simple building blocks.
It mean Ubisoft throwing out the AnvilNext engine which it had used for everything from Rainbow Six: Siege to Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and the upcoming For Honor. Creating an engine isn’t cheap though, and during a recent press event for The Division Ubisoft said it had plans to use Snowdrop for future titles.
“It’s just more efficient that way,” said Ubisoft Massive’s Martin Hultberg. “In our case we developed the Snowdrop Engine from the ground-up because we needed middleware that could run on the new consoles and PC, while doing everything we wanted to do with the open world, the weather, time of day and such features.”
Looking forward, Hultberg says the engine is being opened up to Ubisoft’s other studios, “not just the Clancy teams.” That means any Ubisoft team can make shared use of Snowdrop now. Judging from how The Division looks and performs on PC, surely it’s got to be a frontrunner for the 2017 Assassin’s Creed?
What this does also strongly at is that the Snowdrop engine is also being used for the upcoming Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands. This hasn’t been confirmed by Ubisoft just yet, but it’s not like me know of any other Tom Clancy games in development. If so, it would mean we could expect a similar set of system requirements for Ghost Recon: Wildlands as we have for The Division. I’m also optimistic there has to be a new Splinter Cell in the works; somehow, somewhere. Come on Ubi, don’t let me down.
You've all no doubt had a chance to play around with The Division during the open beta this weekend, what did you make of the Snowdrop engine? Would you like to see Ubisoft adopt it for all upcoming open-world titles?