Watch Dogs' next-gen take on companion apps

Watch Dogs' next-gen take on companion apps
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

September 17th 2013 at 4:55PM

The next step in gaming is about connectivity at all costs, says lead game designer

Next-gen is all about connectivity and reaching multiple devices, says Ubisoft lead game designer Philippe Baude.

Ubisoft’s upcoming open world action game Watch Dogs is currently one of the most highly anticipate titles coming to PS4, Xbox One and current-gen platforms, and the publisher is keen to expand the franchise to mobile.

The free CTOS companion app for smartphones and tablets to be released alongside the title creates a new multiplayer game within the console version of Watch Dogs, where the player must reach a series of checkpoints.

Mobile users have access to a view of the city, and can control various systems such as traffic lights and also control the police as they try to stop their console counterpart reaching their objectives.

The companion app works through Ubisoft’s digital platform Uplay, running through the publisher's servers, enabling both console and smartphone/tablet users access to the same game world.

Speaking to Develop at last week’s Digital Days event, Watch Dogs companion app lead designer Philippe Baude said embracing this kind of connectivity was what the next generation of games was all about, and called more traditional implementations, such as website apps and statistics, boring.

“We really want to push it into a new dimension and a new era,” he said.

“I believe companion apps are meant to do that, not do what you’ve seen before. For the first time ever we have people playing on the console and the players playing on the mobile.

“We want to have them both in the same experience, the same universe. And I think that’s what we’ve embraced for the next generation; it’s connectivity at all costs. This is next-gen. This is not about graphics; this is not about more polygons, because who cares. Yes it’s going to be better for your eyes, but most of the time people can’t make the difference between 720p or 1080p, so the future is about connectivity.”