Many fans claimed that the original Watch Dogs unfairly sold itself with misleading trailers, and that may be costing Watch Dogs 2.
After Eurogamer posted a story noting that U.K. sales for Ubisoft’s open-world sequel (out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC) were dramatically down in its first week compared to its predecessor (80,000 copies vs. 380,000), the publisher responded to the publication with a statement acknowledging the slow start while still remaining optimistic about future sales.
“We’re incredibly happy with critics’ and players’ very positive reception of Watch Dogs 2, which should bolster support for the long-term success of the game,” a Ubisoft spokesperson told Eurogamer. “It is true that first-day and first-week sales for a number of big games, including Watch Dogs 2 and titles from our competitors, are comparatively lower than previous versions in previous years. However, we expect both week-two and week-three sales to be above traditional sales patterns. There is a trend toward games, especially high-quality games, having stronger and longer ‘tails’ as favorable reviews and word of mouth spread. Watch Dogs 2 is already considered a tremendous addition to the open-world action adventure series and we’re confident that millions of players are going to love it.”
Critically, Watch Dogs 2 is having a better reception than the first game. The original Watch Dogs has a Metacritic score of 80, while the sequel is at 83 (both for the PlayStation 4 versions). We also enjoyed the sequel more thanks to its new, lighter tone and focus on gadgets. But that’s not a huge average score increase. The original Watch Dogs also had some advantages. It was hyped for years before its release as one first next-gen games in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One era. Early trailers made it looked like a more graphically advanced Grand Theft Auto.
But the final game did not look as good as those first trailers. You can watch a comparison between the first Watch Dogs’ reveal video and final PC gameplay in the video below.
It’s still too early to tell exactly how well the sequel will perform just based on one week’s worth of sales data in the U.K., but Watch Dogs 2 isn’t alone. It isn’t the first sequel this year to lag behind its predecessor. Dishonored 2 had a similar problem in the U.K., with its sales falling behind the first Dishonored. That gaming is also reviewing well, with its PlayStation 4 Metacritic score currently at 88.