May 19, 2014 10:01 am

Ahoy Matey! Internet Explorer and Ubisoft Launch Assassin’s Creed Pirates for the Web

Today, we’re excited to announce a new partnership with Ubisoft to launch the first ever Assassin’s Creed title on the modern web with HTML5, 3D WebGL graphics, and JavaScript. The Assassin’s Creed Pirates web-based experience is available today for free play in five languages worldwide. New gameplay based on the popular iOS Assassin’s Creed Pirates game allows you to step into the shoes of Alonzo Batilla, a young captain, racing his ship through the Caribbean seas, evading mines and other hurdles, amidst searching for treasure.

This ACP game demo was developed using the Babylon.JS open source framework – today developers have a tool that makes it simpler to build interoperable 3D games like this one. And for adventurous players, we’re announcing a new developer challenge: Build your own shader with Babylon.JS and you could win an Assassin’s Creed Collector’s Black Chest Edition and an Xbox One! It only takes a few minutes and you don’t really have to be a pro developer to play with code this easy. Complete contest details are below.


Designed from the ground-up for the modern touch browser

Unfurl the sails and with a swipe of your finger on the virtual wheel, steer the ship through the deep blue Caribbean. Race your ship through an obstacle course and compete with pirates around the world to obtain the highest score. Each time the game is launched, a variation of the original scene is delivered – with changes in the weather, time of day and location – giving you a new experience each race. Now, pin the game to your Start screen, and have it handy for those few minutes you have to spare. With split-screen browsing, you can group Skype your friends and race your ship, simultaneously.

With even better 3D performance, enhanced touch capabilities, and recent improvements to WebGL, the recent updates to IE11 make it a great browser to try ACP on the web. Most games built for the web require a fixed screen resolution – the game only works in one size regardless of your device’s capabilities. The ACP demo is truly different. Whether an 8-inch touch-first tablet or a 24 inch desktop with a mouse, ACP with IE11 adapts your browsing experience by detecting your Windows device and input type. Yet in keeping with our Rethink what the web can be mission, it is written with interoperable code – it works well across modern browsers and devices.

“When Assassin’s Creed Pirates was released on mobile, it received high praise for its groundbreaking visuals. We wanted to see if a game like this could be possible on the web. It’s difficult to really know where web-gaming is headed, but we can be sure that Babylon.JS and Internet Explorer today, in terms of gaming, are great platforms to demonstrate its potential,” said François Bodson, Studio Manager.

Built with Babylon.JS

Babylon.JS is an easy to use and powerful, open-source 3D engine built on WebGL, JavaScript, and TypeScript. Made by a team of four developer evangelists at Microsoft – David Catuhe, David Rousset, Michel Rousseau and Pierre Lagarde – it pushes the limits of 3D gaming on the web. With Babylon.JS, developers can quickly add collision detection, physics, lighting, camera angles, textures, effects, and new 3D scenes with minimal coding. Babylon.JS was developed from the ground up on top of adaptable shaders that are recompiled on the fly. It can run on many devices and allows you to use your own shaders (like the ocean shader in the ACP demo), without the burden of handling WebGL plumbing. You can get a complete tear-down on how ACP on the web was built and see more demos built with it at or download the GitHub repo.


“I was amazed” says David Catuhe, one of the creators of Babylon.JS. “Without ever asking a question, Ubisoft developers were able to embrace the philosophy of Babylon.js. This proves that with the right tools you can create great games for the browser. I feel proud to see such talented developers use the Babylon.JS framework to create such a great experience!”

Developer Contest – Build your own shader

It’s getting easier to build with 3D on the web. To showcase that, we wanted to provide a fun opportunity for web developers to show off their OpenGL skills. David Catuhe has created a program using Babylon.JS with which expert and novice developers alike can easily build shaders. The challenge invites developers to use this program to create a custom shader for the pirate ship from the game demo. The grand prize is an Assassin’s Creed Collector’s Black Chest Edition and an Xbox One. Submissions will be judged based on the performance of the shader and its overall aesthetic appeal.

Contestants must be over 16 years of age and from one of the following countries: United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain or Australia.

The winners will be selected by our esteemed panel of judges – François Bodson, Studio Manager and Christian Nasr, Engine Programmer from Ubisoft, David Catuhe, Developer Technical Evangelist from Microsoft and Robby Ingebretsen, Creative Director from Pixel Labs.

Anchors aweigh! To build your own shader, submit your entry by June 20, 2014, and for complete contest details, start here.

Thank you Ubisoft and Babylon.JS!

We had a great time partnering with Ubisoft to bring a 3D game of this quality to the web and we’re thrilled to add it to our collection of Rethink Experiences.

Take five minutes and try out Assassin’s Creed Pirates on the web. Then try your hand at coding your own Babylon.JS shader to win an Assassin’s Creed Collector’s Black Chest Edition and an Xbox One.

Developers, follow @iedevchat to learn more about Babylon.JS and our free web developer tools.

Divya Kumar

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Internet Explorer

Updated November 8, 2014 2:13 am

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