This gen, Ubisoft have heavily backed their Assassin’s Creed franchise, pumping out a new game every year, and it looks like they have a similar long-term plan for Watch Dogs.
Ubisoft Montreal producer Dominic Guay told The Guardian, when asked whether they plan to do something like Bungie’s 10 year plan for Destiny:
Honestly that’s what we’re doing too. Here’s the way we think about it: even if we change our minds mid-course or after shipping Watch Dogs and say ‘scratch that, we’ll do something else’, the planning helps to make a strong core. We’ve all seen TV series where after a season there are a lot of mysteries; then at the start of season two you think, they didn’t know what was going to happen – they’re just stringing us along! You feel it! And it’s the same with games. If there’s a clear long-term plan, you’ll have stronger characters, the universe will be more coherent. So when you have the luxury of creating a new brand – which is happening less and less in this industry, you need to do just that. We’ve been doing the same thing Bungie has been doing – we’re trying to see how our characters and world will evolve. That’s always in the back of our heads.
Creative director Jonathan Morin also revealed that the game will have one ending:
Yes, one ending. I understand the idea of multiple endings but the problem I have is a branching structure inevitably diminishes the perception the player has of the story, to some extent. I mean you can’t divide individual player perception of a game into ten choices, it’s so much more complicated than that. Because this is an interactive medium, a lot of people want to tackle that idea of perception, they want, like, six billion different situations so every individual has a logical bond with what’s going on based on their own choices. If anyone ever manages that, great! Two thumbs up!
But the other way is, stop doing a story that’s crafted to such an extent that it’s going to tell every player the same message – make a message that’s interesting to think about and make an ending that’s satisfying, but that retains a question that reflects how you played, and everything you did in the open-world in a personal way, not in a binary way. It shouldn’t be about, ‘you have 600 points so you’ve unlocked the answer’; it’s a lot more about you. If you care about the question, you’re left with wonder. I think we’ve found a way to respect the player’s intelligence and not limit them.
Meanwhile, Ubisoft managing director Nicolas Rioux explained the second screen push at the publisher to GI.biz:
In the last three years, we had this vision in mind. The vision of the studio is to be a leader in the creation of mobile, online, and connected universes. For The Division, we were involved from the beginning of the project. This is really our key for success, for our team to be involved with the design team on the console project. If you want to have success with this kind of experience, you must be there early.
The way we see it, it really gives the players the choice and opportunity to have a great experience when you want, where you want, at the time you want, on the device you want. For us it’s a great feature, it’s a must-have for the new generation of console.
Rioux also made a rather bold claim about the power of tablets, which see new systems at least every year:
I expect maybe in three or four years from now to be able to have mostly the same engine running on tablet and the main console. On The Division, we are using the same assets on the console and the tablets. In the future, it will be easier for us to provide this kind of experience.
Are you excited for Watch Dogs, or are you worried that they’ll milk the franchise into oblivion? What are your thoughts on second screens and tablets? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.