The first Watch Dogs released in 2014 and was a grand example of how a great game can be marred by video game hype culture. Its early trailers were quite famously misleading as to how the game would look upon release, and the confusion brought upon by its multiple special editions didn’t help. And when it finally released, people couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed by a GTA clone riddled with bugs and mediocre textures. Never the less, it was still a fun take on the open world genre even if the tone of its protagonist and the game itself wasn’t all that fun.
Watch Dogs 2 truly was the Assassin’s Creed 2 of the series in that the franchise really did start with this one. Not only was the gameplay and world design much more polished but the game bloomed with personality which made the ridiculous and entertaining hacking shenanigans all the more fun. And to this day it’s been my favorite of Ubisoft’s big budget, open world offerings.
Naturally, a third follow-up would be very tantalizing for fans. And according to what appears to be some covert Ubisoft antics, a Watch Dogs 3 reveal may not be too far off, and it’s something to keep an eye on for E3 2018 in June.
Note: This article is speculative only. We are not claiming to have any official Watch Dog 3 news — we are addressing the rumors and making educated estimations and speculating about a Watch Dogs 3 reveal, release date, and what to expect.
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Rumblings about a sequel appeared in February 2017 after a patch for the game extended the ending of Watch Dogs 2, as reported by Metro Gaming. The very end of the ending cutscene includes a brief audio conversation between two unnamed people discussing the rise of hacktivism around the world, specifically in Europe and the Middle East. While they’re talking, onscreen coordinates point towards Brixton in London, England.
Kotaku reached out to a representative at Ubisoft who said that “the production team wanted to include a little something extra at the end of the campaign to expand the Watch Dogs lore and hint at the potential future of DedSec.”
On March 31, 2018, Twitter user @AllHailJacko uploaded multiple videos where he played the song Spaz by N.E.R.D on Spotify (Which is the song played during the reveal trailer for Watch Dogs 2) while the Uplay client is open and then a flickering “admin_console” appeared by his profile icon (however UbiCentral was able to get the admin_console to appear without using Spotify). By clicking on it, you are taken to what appears to be a command prompt which has a list of commands.
One command lets you artificially increase your profile level and other drops virtual coins from above. Another command, list-unreleased-games, is for supposedly listing all of Ubisoft’s unreleased games. However, what appears is a garbled mess of slashes and asterisk as if the list of games was corrupted by a hacker.
In the mess you can make out bits of text resembling “Far Cry,” “Assassin’s Creed,” and “The Division” (which may be a reference to the recently announced The Division 2).
Typing the #start-map command found in the mess you can play a game styled after classic text-based adventure games. Solving the puzzle will give you a link to download a nifty wallpaper.
Now considering the timing, it’s clear that this was intended to be an April Fool’s Day joke. But since the Easter Egg didn’t appear exactly on April Fool’s Day and since it’s clearly related to Watch Dogs without actually saying it, we have reason to believe that this might be a publicity stunt for Watch Dogs 3.
We got even more evidence of an impending Watch Dogs 3 announcement on April 4. As Gamerant reported, the official Watch Dogs Twitter account sent out a tweet reading simply “This is everything” before it was quickly removed.
Update (May 29, 2019): Watch Dogs 3 was seemingly confirmed by Sam, Ubisoft’s AI assistant in the Ubisoft Club app, according to VG247. Back in April 2018, several users asked Sam about Watch Dogs 3. Sam’s response was “Watch Dogs 3 is not finished yet, but from the last early build I tried it’s very solid. The Dev team works wonders! Can’t wait for you to try it!” You can see YouTube Channel UbiCentral using the app and getting the response below:
User Cakebytheocean02 asked Sam about Watch Dogs 3 in December 2018 and it told them that “You’d think that I’d know what was brewing in the Watchdog universe with my DedSec contacts, but I haven’t heard a blip from them about a sequel. I’ll let you know if I get new info on this.”
When if they didn’t know, then who will, Sam replied that “‘They’ will come. Or ‘He.’ There’s a debate about that. But who cares.”
We just tried asking Sam ourselves and we got the following response: “Wait a minute… Are you trying to trick me into saying something I shouldn’t say? Or revealing something that doesn’t exist? I may be in Beta but not that easy to fool.” Asking again gives us a similar response, just worded differently.
In February 2019, YouTube Channel Skullzi TV found a listing for a brand new trademark for Watch Dogs filed in December 2018.
Later that month, an anonymous user posted on a messaging board that Watch Dogs 3 will be set in London, which lines up with the updated ending of Watch Dogs 2 as well as a tweet from Kotaku‘s Jason Schreier.
They also said that players can choose to play as either a male or female character but play through the same story. So instead of having two different stories with two different characters like in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, it would be more like Far Cry 5 where you customize your own character and go through the same story as everyone else. That seems to fall in line with the ambiguous way that Sam described to Cakebytheocean02 the person who may have more info on the game. Though keep in mind that we got a completely different response from Sam.
The anonymous user also claimed that the game will focus more on smaller firearms and knives for combat but place a larger emphasis on hacking. Many complained that it wasn’t congruent with the fun, plucky protagonist in Watch Dogs 2 to use rifles, shotguns and other weapons to deal with enemies. So if the change in focus for combat is true, then it would appear that Ubisoft listened to that feedback.
Update (June 4, 2019): The full identity of Watch Dogs 3 has been revealed. It’s now called Watch Dogs Legion.
According to the listing on Amazon UK, Watch Dogs Legion is set in London, as was originally teased. However, the game’s version of London is dystopian where technology, society and politics have changed in a post-Brexit world.
“London makes total sense for WD, as the city has one of the highest surveillance levels in the world making this the perfect playground,” said the listing.
One of the game’s big features is the ability to play as any NPC you recruit in the game, according to Kotaku. Each character has their own set of animations, voice over, character traits and visuals generated and guided by gameplay systems, according to the listing. Kotaku added that the story and gameplay will change depending on which NPC you’re playing as. The system is so ambitious, Kotaku said, that it caused the developers a lot of hardships and may have even lead to at least one delay.
The official Twitter account for Watch Dogs tweeted a teaser for Watch Dogs Legion as well as its NPC-centric gameplay the next day.
What to Expect
London would be a pretty good choice to set a Watch Dogs game in. Every 5th of November in London since 2015, the international hacktivist group Anonymous hosts the Million Mask March. According to BBC News, the march is a protest against corruption in power. As you probably know, the march coincides with Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes day, or the day Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
The masks donned by the protesters in the march and members of Anonymous are based off of the Guy Fawkes mask worn in Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta. The mask has become a symbol of protest against politicians and financial institutions.
All of this would fit in well with the hacktivist vibe that was especially felt in Watch Dogs 2.
There are also plenty of recognizable landmarks in London for players to hunt down like they did with the landmarks in Chicago and San Francisco in the first and second games respectively. Big Ben, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye immediately come to mind.
It would be cool to sneak around these iconic landmarks for missions and, say, disable the London Eye as part of a massive hacktivist stunt. There also just so happens to be a Ubisoft Studio in London. In Watch Dogs 2, players could explore a virtual Ubisoft San Francisco for a mission to leak a trailer for what would eventually be announced as Starlink: Battle for Atlas.
Imagine another mission where players sneak into the London studio to leak a trailer for a new game, but this time it’s an actual announcement instead of a teaser like in the last game.
As for the gameplay itself, we don’t expect it to change much from its predecessors. The biggest thing we can expect is another massive open world filled with repetitive yet fun tasks, a gameplay style that Ubisoft and its development teams have honed over the past decade. We could also expect a few new opportunities to use hack things along with some new toys to go along with the drone and the RC car.
I know we would love to see an alternative to the constant sneaking around armed grunts in missions and the inevitable gunplay, and I’m not alone in thinking that. The shooting in Watch Dogs 2 worked fine enough, but I felt that it just wasn’t in character with the plucky protagonist Marcus to just shoot up people.
The game did have stun guns and shock grenades for taking down opponents without killing them, but they were a hassle to use and enemies would just get back up easily anyway. More opportunities for hacking your way through missions and more nonviolent options would do the sequel wonders.
The biggest change we can expect is a commitment to more “live service” elements. Ubisoft has already detailed its plan to develop more games with this live service mentality in an earnings call last February, where games are continuously updated so players play them for longer and spend more money on microtransactions.
This isn’t exactly new; Watch Dogs has always had an online multiplayer component with players invading others’ games and trying to hack into them while blending in with the crowd while also charging players for cosmetic DLC. So we can expect that to return but with an added emphasis on these live service components. We’re thinking something along the lines of Far Cry 5‘s live events where players are tasked on a weekly basis with completing a certain objective within a time period for extra rewards.
When to Expect It
An official teaser trailer for Watch Dogs 2 was released on June 6, 2016 with the full cinematic reveal trailer dropping two days later. We would then get a gameplay demonstration during Ubisoft’s E3 2016 presentation on June 13, 2016. So we’re thinking that the timeline for a supposed Watch Dogs 3 reveal will be similar.
Ubisoft has had a similar PR pattern with other games. For instance, Far Cry 5 got a teaser trailer in late May 2017 before getting a full blown announcement trailer a couple of days later. Then a gameplay trailer was shown off during E3 2017.
Now even though Watch Dogs 2 sold less than its predecessor, thanks to the positive response and good word of mouth the game’s post-launch sales have made Ubisoft “happy” and it overall managed to outsell Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Co-founder, President, and CEO of Ubisoft Yves Gullemot said that this was important for the long term future of the franchise, according to the publication.
All of this points to a very strong possibility of a Watch Dogs 3 reveal happening soon, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a Watch Dogs 3 release date announced for November 2018.
Update (May 29, 2019): 2018 came and went and we did not get Watch Dogs 3. However, 2019 seems pretty plausible for a release date.
In August 2018, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told GameSpot that there will be no new Assassin’s Creed games in 2019 and that they will instead focus on bringing more content to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. With Ubisoft’s biggest cash cow skipping this year, a new Watch Dogs could help fill the void for an October/November 2019 release.
What do you think? How plausible are the rumors and speculations? Let us know in the comment section below.