Snowdrop (game engine)

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Snowdrop logo.jpeg
Developer(s) Massive Entertainment, Ubisoft
Written in C++
Platform Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Type Game engine
License Proprietary

Snowdrop is a proprietary game engine created by Ubisoft for use on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It was first revealed at E3 2013 with Tom Clancy's The Division, the first game using the engine.


The engine is coded mainly in C++.[1]

Rodrigo Cortes (brand art director at Massive Entertainment) says that the development on Snowdrop engine started in 2009 by Massive Entertainment. Initially it was an engine built for PC and next-gen development by Massive Entertainment to do "things better not bigger". The core of the game engine is powered by a "node-based system and the engine is a dynamic, interconnected and flexible system where developers can create their assets quickly and interact with them in ways that have never been done before.[2] Massive created a revolutionary lighting and destruction system (inspired by film production techniques) within Snowdrop engine.[3]


The engine is distinguished mainly by the following points:

  • Node-based scripting system that links all areas, from rendering, AI, mission scripts to UI.
  • Realistic day and night change.
  • Global volumetric lighting.
  • Procedural destruction.
  • Advanced particle system and visual effects.
  • Dynamic material shader.

Since 2013, Massive Entertainment uploaded two videos entitled "Snowdrop Next-Gen Engine" and "Snowdrop Engine - GDC 2014" to Ubisoft's YouTube channel to demonstrate the power of the engine.

Games using Snowdrop[edit]