Ubisoft hit the headlines when they donated €500,000 for Notre Dame reconstruction which was followed by Assassin's Creed Unity going free for a week. This caused players to download it over three million times in a short period of time.
Assassin's Creed Unity had a rocky start back when the game was originally released, in large part because it was rushed out of the door and hit the shelves in a horribly unfinished state.
It was panned by critics, fans hated it and it remained a black sheep in the family, even though the developers eventually fixed most of what made the experience horrible. Still, they did not deliver when customers paid and it is entirely understandable why Unity didn't have any major impact for about five years.
Then Notre Dame was damaged in a fire and Ubisoft pledged €500,000 for the reconstruction efforts and let uPlay users download Assassin's Creed Unity for free, provided they did so during the one week period from 17 to 25 April 2019.
The freebie was extremely well received, as players started showering the game with positive reviews after Ubisoft's gestures of goodwill and the company had to increase the server size in order to accommodate all the new players.
All of the positive signs were there but it wasn't known just how many players happened to download the free game and played it until recently when Hollywood Reporter mentioned that over three million players downloaded Assassin's Creed Unity in the week when the game was free.
For the moment, it is unknown whether players flocked to the game in order to see Notre Dame in its full glory before the fire or if they seized an opportunity to give Unity a shot at no extra charge.
The safe bet is on the latter, although it is one of the few places we can still see the iconic building as it once was. Furthermore, reconstruction will take a long time considering it's not exactly a small hut we are talking about and France apparently no longer has trees high enough to build the roof as it was before.