Back in 2012 Ubisoft's cyber spy thriller Watch Dogs raised quite the ruckus at E3, with a very impressive first trailer. It never really lived up to that initial hype, and players were left irritated by apparent graphical downgrades and a fairly tedious story when the game hit shelves in 2014.
After initial denials by the studio that anything had changed, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot (sort of) admitted at this year's E3 that the company had made mistakes when marketing the game.
“It’s a real challenge to create those types of games,” Guillemot told The Guardian. “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.”
The biggest thing the company learned? Don't show a new game off unless what you're demoing is representative of the final project. That's something Ubisoft's was careful to remember for this year's show.
“With E3 2015 we said, OK, let’s make sure the games are playable," continued Guillemot, "that they’re running on the target machines. When we show something, we ask the team, make sure it’s playable, make sure gamers can immediately see exactly what it is. 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.”
As for the next Watch Dogs game, which is inevitably going to happen at some point, Guillemot was keeping his cards close to his chest, simply saying that Ubisoft is "continuing to work on everything we created so we can get to the next level.” One thing's for sure, the studio has a lot of work to do to win back the trust of PC gamers, after more than one high-profile catastrophe.