‘Watch Dogs’ Was Built With Pieces Of A Cancelled ‘Driver’ Game

By | 3 years ago 

If you ever get time to talk to a game developer about their job, you will quickly learn that their work is tough. That is made twice as tough when they work for a major publisher where they’re constantly under pressure of budgets, deadlines and corporate politics. Sometimes games begin development even though the team doesn’t necessarily know much about what they want to make. That can lead to games being cancelled, even after a decent amount of work is done.

That appears to have been the case with a driving game that was going to be a new addition in the Driver franchise. Now it’s the eagerly anticipated – but recently delayed – Watch Dogs.

Talking to IGN, Ubisoft‘s North American president Laurent Detoc admitted that the Driver game and the engine they built for it just weren’t working out.

“They were working on a driving engine, working on something. We had the Driver license. 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.”

This sounds familiar to the Rainbow 6: Patriots situation at Ubisoft. That isn’t to say that all that work on Driver went to waste though. In fact, it is set to have quite the legacy as Watch Dogs has risen up from that game’s ashes.

Driver Cancelled And Salvaged

Detoc explains that “Watch Dogs wasn’t always Watch Dogs” as the game went through some hefty development overhauls to become the cyber hacking open world game that fans are clamoring to get their hands on in the coming months. He explains that the engine that they had begun to build for the initial Driver was salvaged and resurrected during Watch Dogs’ development. He explains the process as:

“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.”

Open world games, like Grand Theft Auto, are often a jack of all trades and master of none. Driving is a common example of a mechanic that is adequate but rarely excellent in the genre. However, with Watch Dogs being built from parts of the Driver series, perhaps fans can have higher hopes of cruising around the digitally rendered Chicago.

Keep in mind that that isn’t a given. It is impossible to know how much of the engine and other assets Ubisoft Montreal lifted from the previous project to make Watch Dogs. It sure would be nice to have superb driving mechanics in an open world though.


Watch Dogs will be available for PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in spring 2014.Source: IGN