Modders Get Approval to Revive Iconic Ubisoft Game | Games Rants
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Modders Get Approval to Revive Iconic Ubisoft Game | Games Rants


  • Ubisoft has given permission to a group of modders to revive Dark Messiah of Might and Magic with a code-based SDK, allowing for easier modding of the game.
  • The modding community has been working on adding ray-tracing support and developing a co-op mode for the game, with more mods expected to come now that Ubisoft has approved the project.
  • The release of the SDK could reignite interest in Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and increase its cult following, potentially bringing new life to the game.

A group of modders has received permission from Ubisoft to revive Dark Messiah of Might and Magic with a code-based software development kit (SDK) for modding the game. The iconic first-person ARPG was originally developed by Arkane Studios in the early-to-mid-2000s with some assistance from Valve.

Arkane initially intended for Dark Messiah of Might and Magic to be a sequel to its debut title, 2002’s Arx Fatalis. The project was greenlit after Valve approached the developer with a proposal to make a game powered by its then-upcoming Source engine. However, Arkane struggled to find a publisher for Arx Fatalis 2, not least due to the original’s lackluster sales. Only Ubisoft showed interest in the game, having eventually agreed to publish it as a spin-off title based on its long-running Might and Magic series, with Ubisoft Annecy also handling its Xbox 360 port. Despite mixed reviews, the 2006 game eventually amassed a cult following.

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Some 17 years later, a group of modders led by one David Wiltos has now been given permission to revive Dark Messiah of Might and Magic with a code-based SDK that should significantly streamline the process of modding the action RPG. While mods themselves are perfectly legal, open-sourcing an unofficial SDK entails releasing a significant chunk of a given game’s code base. Depending on how that code was reverse-engineered, this ranges from a legally gray area to an outright illegal act due to copyright protections, which is why the SDK’s release hinged on Ubisoft’s approval, Wiltos explained on Reddit.

Following two years’ worth of negotiations over the exact contents of the modding SDK’s release, Ubisoft gave a blanket approval to the project, essentially allowing its developers to put out anything they see fit. In a recent update posted to Mod DB, Wiltos said his team will be acting on this approval “as fast as possible,” having already launched a limited toolkit that allows enthusiasts to implement ray-tracing support into Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.

The software is based on Nvidia’s RTX Remix toolkit, meaning that any mods created with it will only work on contemporary GeForce GPUs offering ray-tracing support. The same group of modders is also currently working on a co-op mode for Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, which was actually their original goal before the online community’s interest prompted them to expand their efforts to a full-featured modding SDK.

With Ubisoft’s official blessing now bestowed upon the project, the incoming SDK promises to deliver a big boon to the game’s modest modding scene. An influx of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic mods could also potentially reignite interest in Arkane’s seminal ARPG, adding to its already sizable cult following.

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is available on PC and Xbox 360.

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Source: David Wiltos/Mod DB, Polygon

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