Watch Dogs has gone gold ahead of its release later this month, Ubisoft has announced. The announcement means that work on the project has finally wrapped up after a five-and-a-half year development cycle, with the final game due to hit shelves on May 27. A next-gen experience that reinvents the way gamers will interact with an interconnected open-world city.
Watch Dogs arms players with the most powerful of modern weapons: a cell phone that grants unprecedented access to Chicago's Central Operating System (ctOS). Aiden Pearce wields this weapon – along with his brawn, his guns and his high-tech gadgets - as a vigilante driven to seek out justice (or vengeance) against those who harmed his family.
First revealed at E3 2012, Watch Dogs has been in the works since 2009. Now that the game's gone gold after an epic five-and-a-half-year development cycle, what's that mean for the team? "It's exciting to be gold," says Creative Director Jonathan Morin. "But it'll be more exciting when people are playing. For the fans it means that it's true. It means there will be no such thing as another delay. But for us, it's not done until they actually have it in their hands."
Morin's fan-centric response might be true for any game, but with Watch Dogs it's especially important for the team to hand their creation to players and allow them to take control of this fully interactive city. That's because Watch Dogs is all about player choice. "We tried to make a game that's very scalable in the sense that it supports your play style," says Lead Gameplay Designer Danny Belanger. "It supports what you want to do most of the time. And it also supports your motivation. Do you want to play a story? Do you want to drive? Do you want to shoot? Do you want to hack? Do you want to play with others? Do you want to play on a tablet? It allows players to do what they feel like, which I find really cool. There's lots of things to explore, there's lots of things to try. I think the greatest thing about Watch Dogs is doing what you think is fun."
Morin agrees, comparing Watch Dogs to a musical instrument. "I invite players to play it the way they want," he says. "To explore the different ways of playing. To not necessarily follow the instincts they know from other games. To find your own fun in it. That's how Watch Dogs is meant to be played."