The inevitable sequel to record-breaking seller, “Watch_Dogs,” will feature radical changes for the series, publisher Ubisoft said Monday.
In an interview with CVG, Ubisoft Montreal’s vice president of creative Lionel Raynaud commented on the mixed critical reception of “Watch_Dogs,” which launched earlier this year for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. While Metacritic has “Watch_Dogs” at a general favorable score for all platforms, most professional reviewers said this ambitious game about hacking the security-driven city of Chicago failed to live up to its full potential. Despite the exciting premise, “Watch_Dogs” was more of the same from Ubisoft, including the disappointingly bland protagonist whose most iconic trait is his fashion sense. Previously, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot spoke about diversifying the company’s characters in future games, which include future installments of “Watch_Dogs.”
Raynaud, however, spoke more about what to expect from the “Watch_Dogs” sequel, based on the critical reception for the original game. In the CVG interview, Raynaud compares the mixed reception to “Watch_Dogs” to the first “Assassin’s Creed” game and how it laid the ground work for more innovated titles from the series. “The reception has actually been pretty close to Assassin’s Creed ,” Raynaud said. “With the first one we didn’t have such a good reception, and it was fair.” Raynaud continued on with the “Assassin’s Creed” comparison.
We had a lot of flaws in the replayability of gameplay loops and you could feel that the game was a first iteration. At the time, there was clear potential but it was not easy to know it was going to become the franchise that it is today.
It’s the same thing with Watch Dogs: it was difficult to do everything at the right level, which is why we took more time. The time we took was definitely useful – it allowed us to release the game without compromises and do everything that we wanted. We also kept parts of the game we felt didn’t fit with the original for the sequel.
Raynaud doesn’t deny there flaws in “Watch_Dogs,” but believes the game successfully established the franchise and the potential it has. “There are flaws, obviously. We absolutely want to tackle these flaws and surprise players, and the way to tackle some of those flaws is going to be quite radical. There are parts of the game that will need to change.” Promising a more player-driven world, Raynaud says a sequel to “Watch_Dogs” will require Ubisoft to develop new technology unavailable for the first game. However, such work and further gameplay refinements is the direction Ubisoft believes it needs to take for “Watch_Dogs 2.”
During its opening week, “Watch_Dogs” sold four million copies across various gaming platforms. By July, “Watch_Dogs has shipped eight million copies. The long delayed Wii U version will finally be released on November 18th in North America.