Watch Dogs was originally a Driver-style game

Watch Dogs was originally a Driver-style game
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

December 19th 2013 at 11:27AM

Ubisoft's hotly-anticipated sci-fi hit built on technology for a driving title

Hacking may be the central concept of the Watch Dogs we're expecting on shelves next year, but the original version was more focused on Driver-esque antics.

The engine running Watch Dogs was created with a driving game in mind, and one that potentially could have been a new entry in the Driver series. But when the team decided it wanted to work on something different, the tech was modified to power the open-world hacking and action game we all know.

"Watch Dogs wasn't started as Watch Dogs," Ubisoft's North American president Laurent Detoc told IGN. "They were working on a driving engine, working on something. We had the Driver licence. This was years ago. Then we were thinking 'no, this is not the way we want to go with a driving game', so we cancelled that and restarted.

"The Watch Dogs project was initially another game. At some point it change. That's at least three years ago, and then the Watch Dogs project reused some of the work that had been done on this driving engine."

Detoc was keen to stress that this does not mean a Driver game became Watch Dogs: "The decision was made that there was another driving game being made and this one should be an open world game where the guy comes out of the car and does other things.Then the team decides to reshuffle itself entirely. A few other people come in, a new creative director, and then they start a new game.

"I wouldn't say that Driver became Watch Dogs, because that's not true. That's not really what happens. What happens is that a game gets cancelled, and then you take pieces of that game to make a new one. We could have had another driving engine from another team in another place, and then it would have been used by the Watch Dogs team."

Watch Dogs was initially due for release last month, but Ubisoft delayed the game into next year. The last Driver game released was well-recieved 2011 title Driver: San Fancisco.