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Ubisoft partnering with French government to develop next-generation game engine

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Ubisoft announced an agreement last week with two French government research organizations, the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), to develop a game engine for next-generation platforms, reports Libération.

The project, which is called "Mango," will cost an estimated €14 million over the next 22 months, with €3.5 million of that total investment coming from the French government.

Ubisoft's studios in Montreal, Canada (Assassin's Creed, Far Cry), and Montpellier, France (Rayman, ZombiU), will work with researchers from the CEA and LIRIS-CNRS (Computing Laboratory in Image and Information Systems) at the University of Lyon. According to LIRIS researcher Eric Galin, under Mango the organization will "hire a number of engineers to develop technologies for the applications of new gaming platforms."

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot noted the joint public-private venture is "very new to Ubisoft," and said its goal is to ensure the company's "next engine [is] made in France." The country is investing in Mango because it hopes the program will bring jobs there and grow the cachet of a "made in France" label for video games, according to Fleur Pellerin, junior minister for small and medium enterprises, innovation, and the digital economy in the French Ministry for Productive Renewal.

"We must develop this French stamp to capture value here," said Pellerin.

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