Watch Dogs Downgrade Backlash Changed Ubisoft's Approach to Showing Games, Says CEO

Yves Guillemot says company now ensures games are running on target hardware before debuting.


Blackash resulting from the disparity between the way Watch Dogs looked at its E3 2012 debut and the final game has changed the way Ubisoft shows off new titles, according to company CEO Yves Guillemot.

Speaking to The Guardian, Guillemot indicated it now focuses on making sure games were playable on target hardware before showing them off at events such as E3.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

"With E3 2015 we said, 'OK, let's make sure the games are playable, that they're running on the target machines,'" he explained.

In 2014, shortly before the release of Watch Dogs, claims were made that game's graphical fidelity had been scaled back. Trailers released from throughout the development cycle were used to support this.

"When we show something, we ask the team [to] make sure it's playable [and] make sure gamers can immediately see exactly what it is," Guillemot continued. "That's what we learned from the Watch Dogs experience--if it can't be played on the target machine, it can be a risk."

Elsewhere in the interview, the Ubisoft exec reflected on the launch of Watch Dogs, saying he believes it was a good first step towards establishing a new property.

"It's a real challenge to create those types of games," said Guillemot. "When they come out, especially the first iterations, they are not perfect on everything."

"We think we launched a good quality game for a first step in a new brand with a new technology. It's just so complex--seamless multiplayer, connectivity with mobile and tablets, so many things--it was maybe a bit too much for a first iteration."

Although Ubisoft is yet to announce a sequel to Watch Dogs, it has previously said it is a "franchise."

"Creating a new franchise like that is the hardest thing to do in our industry because there's so much risk involved," said senior vice president of sales and marketing Tony Key.

"We're incredibly happy with the sales of the game and the experiences that the people are having. So it's a franchise. It goes into the franchise barn and now we figure out what to do next. It's something that we can build on now."

As of October 2014, Watch Dogs has shipped more than 9 million copies since its release in May for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3,PlayStation 4, and PC.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 103 comments about this story