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Watch Dogs backlash forced Ubisoft to address game announcements, says CEO

Watch Dogs‘ downgrade backlash has changed the way Ubisoft approach game announcements and showcases, says its CEO.

Backlash over the disparity between the way Watch Dogs looked at its E3 2012 announcement and its eventual release has caused Ubisoft to address the way it announces games.

That’s according to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot speaking to The Guardian, who said the company is now focused on making sure games are playable on their target hardware before showing them off at events like E3 or GamesCom.

“With E3 2015 we said, ‘OK, let’s make sure the games are playable, that they’re running on the target machines’,” he said.

Shortly before the Watch Dogs release date in 2014, claims were made that the game’s graphics had been radically scaled back, with trailers from the development cycle used to support those claims.

“When we show something, we ask the team [to] make sure it’s playable [and] make sure gamers can immediately see exactly what it is,” added Guillemot. “That’s what we learned from the Watch Dogs experience — if it can’t be played on the target machine, it can be a risk.”

Related: Watch Dogs 2 – What we want to see

Elsewhere in the interview, Guillemot reflected on the Watch Dogs launch and its faults, maintaining that he believes it was a good step tworads building a brand new IP.

“It’s a real challenge to create those types of games. When they come out, especially the first iterations, they are not perfect on everything. We think we launched a good quality game for a first step in a new brand with a new technology.”

“It’s just so complex — seamless multiplayer, connectivity with mobile and tablets, so many things — it was maybe a bit too much for a first iteration.”

Ubisoft hasn’t yet announced a sequel to Watch Dogs, but the developer has previously called it a franchise, which means we should be seeing more of Aiden Pearce and co.

“Creating a new franchise like that is the hardest thing to do in our industry because there’s so much risk involved,” said Senior VP of Marketing and Sales Tony Key at the time.

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