So it turns out that the upcoming – and highly anticipated – hacking title Watch Dogs could have been an entry in the Driver series.
Ubisoft was working on a driving title – potentially a new Driver game – but the publisher decided that it wanted to make a more open-world game. That title was cancelled and Ubisoft began working on a new project. What is now Watch Dogs uses the driving engine developed for the former title.
Speaking to IGN, Ubisoft North America president Laurent Detoc said: “Watch Dogs wasn’t started as Watch Dogs. They were working on a driving engine, working on something. We had the Driver license. This was years ago.
"Then we were thinking, ‘no, this is not the way we want to go with a driving game,’ so we cancelled that and restarted. It’s not like Watch Dogs started as Watch Dogs. The Watch Dogs project was initially another game. At some point it changed. That’s at least three years ago, and then the Watch Dogs project reused some of the work that had been done on this driving engine.
“The decision was made that there was another driving game being made and this one should be an open-world game where the guy comes out of the car and does other things. Then the team decides to reshuffle itself entirely. A few other people come in, a new creative director, and then they start a new game.
“I wouldn’t say that Driver became Watch Dogs, because that’s not true. That’s not really what happens. What happens is that a game gets cancelled, and then you take pieces of that game to make a new one. We could have had another driving engine from another team in another place, and then it would have been used by the Watch Dogs team.”
Watch Dogs is coming to stores in Q2 2014.