Ubisoft is having a good year so far in 2016 after it celebrated its most successful launch of a new IP with The Division, and the fact that Assassin’s Creed is taking a year off (from games anyway) is not going to stop the company from releasing franchise sequels.
The game that is expected to fill that Assassin’s Creed gap is the sequel to 2014 hacker action game Watch Dogs. After the company posted its third-quarter financial report, it was revealed that the game would launch before April 2017 and now, after images of the logo were posted online, an official announcement is imminent and expected at this year’s E3 event.
Video games’ annual landmark event is less than two weeks away, and many game making companies will be in the final stages of planning their biggest reveals, trying to keep the most shocking of secrets under close guard. Ubisoft has now learned that sending out branded merchandise to online personalities is good way of getting the word out ahead of time. A YouTuber known as The Rad Brad tweeted a thank-you note to Ubisoft, demonstrating his gratitude for a Watch Dogs 2 gift box. The photo shows off the original Watch Dogs logo with a small number two to its bottom right-hand corner. There is also a Ray Ban pouch that shows the Watch Dogs 2 name.
The original game sold 9 million copies at retail but it was widely criticized for not meeting expectations. Jonathan Morin, who worked on the first iteration has already spoken GamesTM about the unannounced follow-up, stating that it needs to be made within a culture of creative risk-taking.
“You have to carry on taking risks. I will not do this job if there is no risk in it, that would just be boring. You shouldn’t prevent yourself from trying something just because it’s hard and the solution is not apparent. When you start a new project [and new IP] it’s a blank page and everything you do is what you want to do. With a sequel, there is more pressure to push a brand forward and we now have to appeal to fans in a new way.”
In the interview, Morin also explained how he wants players to be able to tell their own stories within the world of Watch Dogs and admitted that the game was far from perfect with a lot of room for improvement.
As well as new games, Ubisoft is also getting more involved in the business of movie adaptations of its franchises. This year will see the release of the Assassin’s Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender, and it has also been reported that Jake Gyllenhaal is set to star in a film based on The Division. It is believed that a Watch Dogs movie is also in the works, with fans having voted for Tom Cruise to play the lead.
Ubisoft’s showcase at E3 is scheduled for Monday, 13 June, from 1PM PST.