Watch Dogs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs box art.jpg
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Director(s) Jonathan Morin[2]
Producer(s) Dominic Guay[2]
Designer(s) Danny Belanger[2]
Programmer(s) Sebastian Viard[3]
Writer(s) Kevin Shortt[4]
Composer(s) Brian Reitzell
Engine Disrupt[5]
Havok Physics[6]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Wii U
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Release date(s)
  • WW May 27, 2014[7]
Wii U
  • WW Q4 2014[8]
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Optical disc, download

Watch Dogs (stylized as WATCH_DOGS) is an upcoming open world action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is due for release worldwide on May 27, 2014[7] for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4,[9] Xbox 360, and Xbox One consoles.[10] The Wii U version of the game has been put on hold while the other versions are being worked on,[11] and is planned to release in the fourth quarter of 2014.[8]

The game is set within a fictionalized, hyper-connected version of Chicago, Illinois, which is managed through a centralised system called CtOS, developed by fictional company Blume. The single-player story is told through Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled grey hat hacker who can hack into the CtOS, granting him access to various electronic systems, either to obtain and control information or to interact with these systems to his advantage.

The game received over a combined 173 pre-release awards and nominations for both its displays at E3 2012 and 2013, including three awards and four nominations from the Game Critics Awards.


Watch Dogs is an open world action-adventure video game in which players control an Irish-American vigilante named Aiden Pearce (voiced by Noam Jenkins),[12] who can hack into various electronic devices tied to the city's central operating system (CtOS), allowing various methods for the player to solve numerous objectives.[13] Examples include hacking into people's phones to retrieve bank data and steal funds, triggering malfunctions in equipment to distract other characters and hacking into traffic lights to cause collisions. Players can also receive information on civilians via augmented reality feeds, providing the player with information on demographics, health, and potential behavior. All of the hacking mechanic is done directly from Pearce's smartphone. He carries around a phone that is equipped with multiple applications, namely the profiler and the crime prevention system, but also applications that interact more directly with the environment around Pearce - interfering with mobile communications, traffic lights, etc. Objectives showcased in presentations include finding specific targets to kill, evading the police and following potential victims in order to stop their would-be killers. Combat utilizes a combination of stealth components and parkour, along with the mechanics of a cover-based third-person shooter.[14]


The core game mechanic in Watch Dogs is hacking.[15] Aiden Pearce, the game's protagonist, is armed with a smartphone loaded with applications capable of hacking a major part of Chicago's infrastructure, such as traffic lights, bridges, steam pipes, fuse boxes, road blockers, etc. This phone is reportedly capable of over 100 total hacks.[16] Hacking is one of the most heavily marketed features of the game, and is central to both gameplay and plot.

Through his profiler application, Aiden Pearce is able to access blurbs of information on every citizen of Chicago he meets at any given time. His smartphone is connected to the CtOS populace database, meaning he can learn people's age and occupation as well as small personal facts about them. Pearce is also capable of reading randomly generated text messages and of overhearing phone calls between two NPC's. These will sometimes lead him to new, unscripted missions. This gameplay feature was designed to make the world of Watch Dogs feel more alive and real, giving depth to the city of Chicago and its people. Additionally, Pearce's smartphone is constantly connected to the CtOS crime prevention system, a fictional tool originally designed for use by the Chicago Police Department. It notifies him when a crime is likely to occur in his vicinity, giving the player a chance to intervene and stop the crime. This contributes to Pearce's vigilante persona.

Because of the fact that Watch Dogs' interpretation of Chicago is governed entirely by the Central Operating System (CtOS), Aiden Pearce has the power to remotely access and interact with things present in his environment - examples of this are traffic lights, steam pipes, blockers, and even the city's lights. He can use these in combat situations to eliminate opponents, create diversions or create cover. He can also use them as a stealth tool to sneak by guards.


The game features an asynchronous multiplayer element. The "multiplayer" experience is a one-on-one interaction between two human characters in which one player secretly joins the single player experience of another player.[17] The first player (which entered the other player's world) is tasked with finding the second player (which is initially unaware that another human is in their game session - no notification is given to the second player). Once the first player finds the second player the objective is updated. The first player's new objective involves installing a back door virus into the second player's smartphone, then hiding while that virus siphons off a portion of the data the second player has collected. This stolen information increases the first player's power once they return to their own single player session. The first player must stay within a certain radius of the second player for the download to progress. Once the download is initiated, the second player is alerted that they have been hacked and that data is being stolen from their smartphone. Once the second player has been alerted of the intrusion their objective is to locate the first player who is stealing their data, and either kill the first player or cause them to flee to such a distance that the download is halted (a certain minimum distance must be maintained for the download to progress).

It was recently confirmed that an online free roam mode will be featured in the game.[18] Other multiplayer modes include CtOS Mobile Challenge, Online Hacking, Decryption, and a racing mode.[19]


The storyline of Watch Dogs game is built around the concept of information warfare, data being interconnected, and the world's increasing use of technology—questioning who exactly runs the computers they depend on. The game is set in an alternate reality version of Chicago, Illinois, which is one of many cities to feature a supercomputer known as a "CtOS" (Central Operating System). The system controls every piece of technology in the city, and contains information on all of the city's residents and activities which can be used for various purposes.[20] In the game's universe, the Northeast blackout of 2003 was found to be caused by a hacker, prompting the development of CtOS.[21] The game will put the player in control of Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled hacker who uses both his "fists and wits".[22] The creative director of Watch Dogs stated that the main story will be 35–40 hours long.


Ubisoft Montreal began development work on Watch Dogs in 2009.[23] Ubisoft Montreal's creative director Jonathan Morin noted that Watch Dogs is designed to "go beyond the limits of today's open world games", referencing both its use of information as a plot point, and allowing players to control the entire city through its hacking mechanics.

The game was officially unveiled during Ubisoft's press conference at E3 2012. Although a copy of the trailer was accidentally posted early by Ubisoft's YouTube channel, it was quickly removed shortly before its official debut.[24][25] Ubisoft has since confirmed that the game will be released for Microsoft Windows and that PC is the lead platform for the game, Nvidia's TXAA will also be supported.[14][22][26]

On February 15, 2013, an upcoming promotional image of the game was sent to Kotaku by a GameStop employee, along with more story details. Photos of the flyer suggested that Watch Dogs would arrive in Christmas 2013 for "all home consoles".[27] The "all home consoles" quote and potential launch window, alongside the press quotes which call the game a "truly next-gen adventure", created debate whether it was a hint at a PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Wii U release.[28][29][30] On February 19, retailers including Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy listed a Wii U version for pre-order.[31] During the Sony press conference on February 20, 2013, Watch Dogs was confirmed to be released on the PlayStation 4. Another demo of the game was also shown at the press conference.[9] Following the evening, the Wii U version was officially confirmed in a Ubisoft press release.[32]

Watch Dogs uses a new engine called Disrupt, built at Ubisoft Montreal specifically for Watch Dogs.[3] Ubisoft prioritized development of the PC and next-gen versions of Watch Dogs.[33] Senior producer Dominic Guay stated that the Wii U's GamePad is considered a "natural" fit for Watch Dogs.[34] Ubisoft's executive director for EMEA territories Alain Coore stated that Ubisoft wants Watch Dogs to compete with "open-style" games such as the Grand Theft Auto series.[35] The game's creators worked with Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab to make hacking more realistic.[36][37] Originally planned for release on November 19, 2013 and as a launch title for Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs was delayed along with The Crew until after Ubisoft's next fiscal year, which begins April 1, 2014,[38] with the developers addressing the delay via UbiBlog.[39]

On February 3, 2014, news broke that Ubisoft had abandoned 1 of the 6 trademarked names for Watch Dogs, creating some confusion as to whether the game had been cancelled. It was later revealed that the abandonment was fraudulent, with an unknown person forging Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot's signature.[40]


On May 29, 2013, Ubisoft announced five collectors' editions of Watch Dogs, The Dedsec, Vigilante, Uplay, Special and Limited editions, available for consoles and PC.[41]

Features Standard Edition Special Edition Vigilante Edition Uplay Exclusive Edition Limited Edition Dedsec Edition Deluxe Digital Edition
Game Disc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Digital Download No No No No No No Yes
Watch Dogs Map of Chicago No No No No No Yes No
Single-player Missions Breakthrough Pack No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Palace Pack No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Signature Shot No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Exclusive Packaging No No Yes No Yes Yes No
Original Soundtrack No No Yes No Yes Yes No
Aiden Pearce's Cap & Mask No No Yes No Mask Only No No
Exclusive Steelbook No No No Yes Yes Yes No
23 cm (9 inch) Aiden Pearce Figurine No No No No Yes Yes No
Watch Dogs Artbook No No No No Yes Yes No
Collectible Cards No No No No No Yes No
Exclusive Badges No No No No No Yes No

The exclusive GameStop pre-order poster for the game was created by illustrator Alex Ross, a native of Chicago, where the game is set. Ross emphasized that setting in the image by placing the Willis Tower and the elevated train tracks in the background.[42]

While originally planned for a release in late 2013, Ubisoft announced on October 15, 2013 that Watch Dogs would be delayed into early 2014 to ensure its quality, and an expectation to "deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming."[43] A few months after this announcement, the game was confirmed for release on May 27, 2014, across all platforms except for the Wii U, which was delayed to the fourth quarter of 2014.[8]



Pre-release, Watch Dogs received more than 83 awards and nominations for its display at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 (E3 2012),[44] and won two Game Critics Awards for Special Commendation for Graphics and Special Commendation for Innovation.[45] Later that year, the game was nominated for One to Watch at the 30th Golden Joystick Awards.[46][47] The next year, Watch Dogs received over 90 awards and nominations for its display at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013 (E3 2013),[48] and won one Game Critics Award for Best Action/Adventure Game while receiving four additional nominations for Best of Show, Best Original Game, Best Console Game, and Best Online Multiplayer.[49][50] Later that year, the game was nominated for Most Wanted at the 31st Golden Joystick Awards,[51][52] and was also nominated for Most Anticipated Game at the VGX 2013.[53]

Major awards and nominations
Year Award Category Result Ref.
2012 Game Critics Awards Best of E3 2012 Special Commendation for Graphics Won [45]
Special Commendation for Innovation Won
30th Golden Joystick Awards One to Watch Nominated [46][47]
2013 Game Critics Awards Best of E3 2013 Best of Show Nominated [49][50]
Best Original Game Nominated
Best Console Game Nominated
Best Action/Adventure Game Won
Best Online Multiplayer Nominated
31st Golden Joystick Awards Most Wanted Nominated [51][52]
VGX 2013 Most Anticipated Game Nominated [53]


Variety reports that Ubisoft is developing a Watch Dogs film, along with Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Splinter Cell and Raving Rabbids films.[54] Sony announced at their 2013 Gamescom press conference that Ubisoft will work with Columbia Pictures and New Regency to make the film, Sony will distribute the film in the US and 20th Century Fox will handle the international distribution rights.[55]


  1. ^ "Driver: San Francisco dev collaborating with Ubi Montreal on Watch Dogs". Videogamer. 2012-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b c Stuart, Keith (July 3, 2013). "Watch Dogs – and how Ubisoft is planning the next decade of game design". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Hillier, Brenna (2013-02-26). "Watch Dogs built on all-new engine, doesn’t share Assassin’s Creed tech". VG247. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  4. ^ Phillips, Jevon (June 15, 2013). "E3 2013: 'Watch Dogs' writer maps Chicago, morality of vigilantism". LA Times. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Viard, Sebastien. "Sebastien Viard's Tweet". 
  6. ^ Kirsch, Nathan. "Havok Tech Powering Assassin’s Creed IV, Watch Dogs and The Division". 
  7. ^ a b Karmali, Luke (March 6, 2014). "Watch Dogs Release Date Officially Announced". IGN. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Makuch, Eddie (April 11, 2014). "Report: Watch Dogs coming to Wii U in fall 2014". GameSpot. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Watch Dogs Confirmed for PlayStation 4". IGN. 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  10. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew. "E3 2013 Watch Dogs Coming to Consoles and PC, Could Hit Wii U". IGN. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  11. ^ King, Ashley (March 6, 2014). "Watch Dogs coming May 27th for other consoles, Wii U still delayed". Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Twitter / noamjenkins: "@EricHandSmith: @noamjenkins". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  13. ^ Langshaw, Mark (4 June 2012). "E3 2012: 'Watch Dogs' announced by Ubisoft - watch video". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "E3 2012: You are the network in Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs". VentureBeat. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "The City is our Weapon". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Watch Dogs Hacks, Vehicles and Weather Discussed". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Watch_Dogs - 14 Minute Gameplay Demo". YouTube. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  18. ^ Cook, Dave (2014-03-07). "Watch Dogs: 8-player free roam mode confirmed by Ubisoft". VG247. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  19. ^ Lara, James (2014-03-07). "Watch Dogs Multiplayer Dubbed "Online Contracts", 5 New Modes Revealed". MP1st. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  20. ^ "E3 Introduction Trailer". Ubisoft. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  21. ^ Hoggins, Tom (19 June 2012). "Watch Dogs preview". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Goldfarb, Andrew. "E3 2012: Ubisoft Reveals Watch Dogs". IGN. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  23. ^ Kaye, Darryl (2013-06-29). "Development On Watch Dogs Began In 2009". Gaming Union. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  24. ^ Kollar, Philip (2012-06-04). "'Watch Dogs' trailer stuns E3 with next-gen-level graphics". The Verge. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  25. ^ Mallory, Jordan (2012-06-04). "'Watch Dogs' announced, looks futuristic". Joystiq. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  26. ^ Cook, Dave (2013-02-27). "Watch Dogs: PC is lead platform". VG247. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  27. ^ "Watch Dogs Will Be Out This Holiday For 'All Home Consoles,' Leaked Poster Says [UPDATE]". 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  28. ^ Phillips, Tom (2013-02-15). "Watch Dogs out this Christmas "for all home consoles" - report". Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  29. ^ Jackson, Mike (2013-02-15). "Watch Dogs out holiday 2013, says 'leaked' promo". Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  30. ^ Makuch, Eddie (2013-02-15). "Watch Dogs out this holiday?". Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  31. ^ Phillips, Tom. "Watch Dogs Wii U release touted by retailers". Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  32. ^ Tach, Dave (2013-01-31). "Watch Dogs confirmed as a Wii U title". Polygon. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  33. ^ Ivan, Tom (2013-02-26). "Watch Dogs developed for next-gen consoles first". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  34. ^ Caruana, Christine (2013-02-26). "Wii U GamePad perfect fit for Watch Dogs, says senior producer". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  35. ^ Prescott, Shaun. "Ubisoft exec: Watch Dogs positioned to challenge GTA V". CVG. 
  36. ^ Gilbert, Ben (May 10, 2013). "Ubisoft working with Kaspersky Lab to make Watch Dogs' hacking more true to life". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  37. ^ Parfitt, Ben (May 13, 2013). "Ubisoft worked with Kaspersky Lab to make Watch Dogs' hacking more believable". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Watch Dogs & The Crew delayed into next fiscal year". ScrewAttack. 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  39. ^ Steinman, Gary (2013-10-15). "Watch Dogs Update". UbiBlog. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  40. ^ Makuch, Eddie (February 3, 2014). "Prankster responsible for Watch Dogs abandonment [UPDATE]". Gamespot. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Watch Dogs Collectors Editions". Ubisoft. April 29, 2013. 
  42. ^ Gaudiosi, John (May 1, 2013). "Alex Ross Talks Watch_Dogs Poster, Digital Comics And Video Games As Art". Forbes. 
  43. ^ "Watch Dogs delayed to spring 2014". GameSpot. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  44. ^ Hinkle, David (February 20, 2013). "Ubisoft confirms Watch Dogs for Wii U". Joystiq. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  45. ^ a b North, Dale (June 26, 2012). "The Last of Us sweeps the E3 2012 Game Critics Awards". Destructoid. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  46. ^ a b Reynolds, Matthew (August 24, 2012). "Golden Joystick Awards 2012 public voting now open". Digital Spy. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  47. ^ a b Martin, Liam (October 27, 2012). "'Skyrim' voted 'Game of the Year' at 2012 Golden Joystick Awards". Digital Spy. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  48. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (August 2, 2013). "News: Watch Dogs trailer flaunts its E3 accolades". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  49. ^ a b Pitcher, Jenna (June 26, 2013). "Game Critics Awards announces Best of E3 2013 nominees, Titanfall dominates". Polygon. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  50. ^ a b Ray Corriea, Alexa (July 2, 2013). "Titanfall dominates E3 2013 Game Critics Awards with six wins". Polygon. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  51. ^ a b Robinson, Andy (August 29, 2013). "News: Golden Joysticks 2013 voting begins". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  52. ^ a b Hussain, Tamoor (October 26, 2013). "News: Golden Joysticks 2013: Full list of winners". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  53. ^ a b Dane, Patrick (December 7, 2013). "‘Grand Theft Auto V’ Tops Spike VGX 2013 Award Winners List". Game Rant. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  54. ^ Graser, Marc (2013-06-12). "Ubisoft To Make Movies Based on ‘Watch Dogs,’ ‘Far Cry,’ ‘Rabbids’ (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  55. ^ Kain, Erik (2013-08-20). "Sony And Ubisoft Team Up On 'Watch Dogs' Feature Film". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 

External links[edit]