The designers of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2 enjoy ripping stories from the headlines about cyberattacks, as many of the missions in the fictional game resemble real-life stories. Watch Dogs 2 debuts on Tuesday on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the PC.
One of the relatively minor side missions focuses on a greedy pharmaceutical company CEO named Gene Carcani. His story bears more than a passing resemblance to real life Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, who drew scorn for hiking the cost of a life-saving drug by 4,000 percent. In the mission, the hacktivist anti-hero of Watch Dogs 2, Marcus Holloway, and his DedSec hacker group try to publicly shame the CEO.
First, Holloway steals a track from a popular rap artist and the contact for Carcani. Then Holloway appears to break into the CEO’s home through his Haum smart appliances, including a security camera. He tricks the CEO into paying $20 million for a fake song. The CEO plans to keep the song to himself and prevent the artist from releasing it to the public. Instead, Holloway records the session and broadcasts it, and then diverts the payment to a leukemia charity.
It’s part of the ridiculous, playful fun of Watch Dogs 2, where the hacktivists enjoy getting their “lulz,” or laughs, much like the real-life hacktivist groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec. Eventually, the storyline gets more serious. Among the other missions, Holloway hacks a church that resembles Scientology, and he takes down a movie studio in a scenario that seems like it’s pulled from the Sony Pictures hack.
Here’s a video of the mission where Holloway hacks the pharmaceutical CEO.