Watch Dogs is a Franchise, Says Ubisoft

“We won’t start a game unless we can franchise it.” They’re not exactly the kind of words you want to hear out of a game publisher, but it’s the reality of the market, which only allows for large games like Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, and The Division, to exist.

Speaking to [a]List Daily (via GamesIndustry), Ubisoft’s Senior VP of Sales and Marketing said that the company won’t start a game unless it can build a franchise from it. When asked whether the upcoming Watch Dogs would be a franchise title, Key responded: “That’s what all our games are about; we won’t even start if we don’t think we can build a franchise out of it. There’s no more fire and forget – it’s too expensive.

“We feel like we’re in a really good place with Watch_Dogs, but until we’re the biggest game of the year we’re not going to be satisfied. Last year we cleaned up at E3 because we were pretty much the only next-gen game around.

“Watch_Dogs for us is really a franchise because we’re tapping into something people really care about, never more than when the NSA PRISM scandal broke.”

Key added that the game is being created with real-world surveillance scenarios in mind, pointing out that Aiden, the game’s protagonist, is able to tap into people’s webcams or apartment security systems to snoop on people.

“We had a screen shot of this guy sitting in his apartment with a department store female mannequin sitting with him and he’s talking to it. When the PRISM story broke on Wednesday, we had that screen shot out on Friday on social media and said ‘You never know who’s watching.’ We were able to react very quickly, and that’s what social media brings.”

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3 Comments on Watch Dogs is a Franchise, Says Ubisoft


On July 15, 2013 at 9:21 am

the “it has to be a franchise” mantra is a double edged sword…

the good: we get more of the things we like (if we like them that is)

the bad: the story of the game might never find an end (see: Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect)

games nowadays use a structure similar to movies with an beginning, middle and end (3 story arc)… and I don’t mind if this structure is strechted around 3 or 4 games, but… I don’t want to have a beginning > middle > filler > filler > botched ending > filler > beginning/restart > middle > etc
that’s what happened to the AC-franchise… it’s kept alive because it sells well and the original story was dumped


On July 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm

It’s a franchise riiiiiight up until it cannot sell 5 million units when it becomes Call of Watch Dogs in a couple sequels.

Red Menace

On July 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Of course it is, everything is, so long as there is a profit to be made.