Ubisoft will give gamers the chance to hack digital Chicago this spring.
The publisher revealed that Watch Dogs is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on May 27. The previously promised Wii U version is still coming, according to Ubisoft, but not until “a later date.” Watch Dogs is an open-world action title set in modern-day Chicago. It has players using a cellphone to hack the city’s connected infrasturcture to evade the police and chase down enemies. The title was originally meant to debut alongside the PS4 and Xbox One in November, but Ubisoft delayed it to give it more polish. It is an important release for the French publisher, which relies on huge annualized hits.
Ubisoft released a new story trailer that establishes the fiction of the world:
Ubisoft is best known in recent years for its massive Assassin’s Creed franchise. Those games have players taking different roles throughout time as part of an eon-long war between two secret societies. The publisher has released a new Assassin’s Creed game every year since 2009, and the franchise always sells well. It also plays a big part of the Ubisoft’s bottom line.
“Our long-term goal is to win the next generation,” Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot said back in October when he originally delayed Watch Dogs and open-world racer The Crew. “The tough decisions we are taking today to fully realize the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance. We are convinced that, longer term, they will prove to be the right decisions both in terms of satisfaction for our fans and in terms of value creation for our shareholders.”
With Watch Dogs, Ubisoft is looking for another Assassin’s Creed-sized hit that it can turn into a series with regular releases. It justified the delay to its shareholders by explaining that it only has one opportunity to make a first impression. Guillemot implied that future sequels will depend on Watch Dogs’ capability to wow consumers when Ubisoft finally releases it.
“The additional time given to the development of our titles will allow them to fulfill their huge ambitions and thus offer players even more exceptional experiences,” he said.
Ubisoft still hasn’t provided a release date for The Crew, but it is expected later this year.