PC Gamer contributor Jeremy Peel has one excellent function in the VG247, all about how the game that would become Watch Dogs began life as an ambitious reboot of Ubisoft's much-lost Driver series. The last entry was Driver: San Francisco from 2011 (seen in the header image), which I thought was a big laugh but unfortunately couldn’t sell in large quantities. Since then, the driver’s engine has been dormant.
The Driver project that would become Watch Dogs was in development at Ubisoft Montreal at about the same time as Driver: San Francisco was ending at Ubisoft Reflections. Reflections was the long-time developer of the series, while for Montreal it was a first shot and the ambition was to give Driver a new and ambitious shape.
"It was always modern," an Ubisoft source told Peel. "It had walking, parkour, combat and driving, all set in a big open world city, and the main hook was always modern technology and piracy. After a while trying to get this concept to fit. in the Driver franchise, the decision was made to turn it into its own new IP. "
This embryonic driver, it seems, was so early that the cars had no textures, but the problem was not so much how the drive and the city were being set up, but to what extent the technology and the elements of piracy the they moved away from the Driver concept. Of course, this change is not unusual in the development of a large budget, perhaps the most famous example is Obisoft’s Golden Goose Assassin’s Creed, which began its life as the rebirth of the Prince of Persia.
While the timeline of when this driver became Watch Dogs is unclear, San Francisco’s commercial failure was perhaps the last key to the coffin. Peel's Ubisoft source sums up the change in the nature of the project as follows: "(Ubisoft Montreal) only did what it did and convinced Yves (Guillemot, CEO) that he could have his own GTA instead of the controller of low sale ".
The full article contains more details and is worth a look, if you still prefer Tanner and the car chase days of the 70s. It is especially sad that of all the series that could have been suitable for this transition to an open world in the GTA style, the concept and configuration of Driver would have been so appropriate. That's life.
Interestingly, just last year we regretted that Legion's Easter eggs were nice, but Ubisoft should create a new driver.