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View Full Version : A Future for both the Modern Day & Multiplayer? Lets Rebrand Watch Dogs!



Sorrosyss
12-04-2016, 06:00 PM
I doubt we would do a modern day AC. There are just too many mechanics we would have to develop to make it believeable ... vehicles, plausible modern cities, a huge array of ranged weapons, etc. The modern day will most likely remain as a "context" for all future games, something to tie them all together...

As for the Assassin Templar storyline resolving... I don't think so. Its been going for 80,000 years already. Why stop it now? There will certainly be a resolution to the most recent plot developments, but the overall conflict will probably rage forever, just like most deeply divided philosophical conflicts...

PS edit: While not in the AC universe, I think Watchdogs will scratch the itch for a modern day AC. Just wait...!

I think the series could last quite a long time provided 2 things happen: 1, each game brings a unique gameplay innovation to accompany its setting, and 2, we reshape the present day setting to be more of a "context" and less "plot driven" so that people aren't constantly frustrated by a lack of resolution.

- Darby McDevitt, 2013 (https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1pz0j2/iama_developer_on_assassins_creed_iv_black_flag/cd7jc0r/?st=iwap8r0l&sh=9cd4b85f)


In the earlier years of the Assassin's Creed franchise, under the creative leadership of Patrice Désilets, many fans expected Desmond Miles' story to culminate in a full game set purely in the Modern Day. Of course, for reasons widely known this did not come to pass. In the end, Ubisoft instead introduced the world to the game Watch Dogs - and for many Assassin's Creed fans it was felt that the premise of a pure Modern Day game was gone.

Fast forward to 2016, and the AC franchise finds itself in a period of transition. Since the untimely demise of poor Desmond, the Modern Day element to the series has been reduced from fully playable sections with a Modern Day protagonist, to merely non-interactive cutscenes. The reasons for this are numerous (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1327086-The-Modern-Day-Problem-What-is-the-solution), but suffice to say whilst there are many purist fans that love it, there are a fair amount of haters who do not. Throw in newcomers to the franchise, and an increasingly bloated plotline which gets longer and longer to explain, and Ubisoft finds itself in a difficult situation as so many are now looking to the IP for its 'historical tourism'. With recent news that future Assassin's Creed games will be 'less scripted' (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1520886-Assassin-s-Creed-Games-quot-will-have-less-narrative-focus-quot), many fans now assume that the natural victim of this will continue to be the Modern Day story element. - especially as the Titan Comics (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1389564-Assassin-s-Creed-Titan-Comics-Story-Analysis-amp-Discussion-(Spoilers)) series will evidently wrap up the Phoenix Project saga.

Modern Day lore has not been the only victim of changes to the franchise though. Indeed, for the first time since its introduction in 2010, with Syndicate in 2015 marked the first year that we did not have a new entry to the popular Multiplayer element. In May 2015, we were told by Ubisoft that they still had plans for AC Multiplayer, but they have as yet not come to pass. In fact the infamous 4chan Egypt leak even stated that Multiplayer would remain cut from the next game. As someone that enjoyed both Unity's Co-op and the traditional Multiplayer, it saddens me to see it ignored in this way - especially as so many fans still continue to keep the servers alive on all formats and games.

By all accounts, both the Modern Day and Multiplayer elements to the game series have dire futures. But there may be a possible solution.


Watch Dogs Controversy

The original Watch Dogs game released to quite famous controversy in May 2014. Whilst generally well received by critics, many fans felt that obvious graphical changes made to the console versions had amounted to false marketing. Nonetheless the game sold well, but some fans did not forget. A game set in the Modern Day, it drew obvious comparisons to the Grand Theft Auto series with an underlying focus on hacking as a gameplay mechanic.

The sequel, Watch Dogs 2 released in November 2016. Ubisoft themselves admitted (http://uk.ign.com/articles/2016/11/03/watch-dogs-2-pre-orders-below-ubisofts-expectations) that preorders for the game fell way below their expected targets, perhaps due to those very same fans abandoning the IP. Indeed, within the UK sales were down 80% (http://www.gamespot.com/articles/top-10-uk-sales-chart-watch-dogs-2-sales-down-80-f/1100-6445600/) in its first week of sale in direct comparison to the original game. Admittedly, sales were stronger in the second week, but they remain intrinsically low by all accounts at time of writing. This has led to some commentators suggesting that this may lead to the IP being considered tarnished and will be ultimately shelved with a third game cancelled - it would certainly not be the first Ubisoft IP to be put on the backburner due to poor sales.

In my view, this would be a great shame for two reasons. One, as a fan of open world games I have enjoyed both Watch Dogs games. And secondly, it shares so many elements with the Assassin's Creed Modern Day it would be a shame for all that work not to be repurposed.


An Assassin's Creed Rebrand

Thus we come to an interesting conclusion. Many of the elements that Darby spoke of in the opening paragraph are already solved within the Watch Dogs games. If we were to rebrand a third Watch Dogs game and create a standalone spin off title away from the main AC historical games, it could foster a new home for both the Modern Day and Multiplayer elements of the AC franchise.

There are numerous similarities after all between DedSec and the Modern Day Assassins.

http://i.imgur.com/EPBYWWo.png


They both use parkour.

http://i.imgur.com/DRYHttT.png


They both use drones.

http://i.imgur.com/drL1dUK.png


They both use guns.

http://i.imgur.com/ewLJZIU.png


They both use hacking.

http://i.imgur.com/fXTRnga.png


They both fight for freedom against an oppressive order of control.

http://i.imgur.com/FB4jpqg.png


And most importantly - they both wear hoods.

http://i.imgur.com/odEsh9x.png


Such a standalone title would be a great opportunity to give popular characters like Shaun, Rebecca, Galina and Charlotte a chance to shine. To satisfy both IP's fans, they could even induct DedSec as allies into the order, much in the same way as they have with Erudito. With the Juno plot supposedly being solved in the comics, it is perhaps a chance to reset the Modern Day, and open up a new chapter in the Assassin versus Templar war with players able to fully immerse themselves in the fight.

To that end, the Multiplayer elements of the Watch Dogs games seem an easy fit. I've embellished how I think a full Online game might work previously (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1206217-Assassin-s-Creed-Online-The-Multiplayer-Future-is-coming), but its a genuine chance for players to create their own Assassin or Templar of their desired gender and race, and to ultimately fight the invisible war in a co-op sandbox environment. Due to the Modern Day setting, it would be perfectly reasonable for players to have access to an Animus too. This in itself is the perfect opportunity to resurrect the traditional Multiplayer too, and to allow multiple maps across the world throughout history.

With so many Multiplayer centric titles coming out of Ubisoft (For Honor, Rainbox Six Siege, Ghost Recon Wildlands, The Division) it is a genuine shame that their flagship franchise does not currently offer any such experience. In my view it is time for this to change, especially when so many other top developers such as CD Projekt Red and Rockstar are looking to seamlessly include Multiplayer elements in their upcoming open world titles.

In short, rebranding Watch Dogs would allow its excellent development team to continue developing their engine and systems, whilst simultaneously boosting sales by utilising the strong name of Assassin's Creed. For AC fans its gives a new opportunity for both the Modern Day and Multiplayer to be reborn, and at the same time does not impact on the main historical releases such as the supposed upcoming Egypt game.

Assassin's Creed is certainly big enough to release multiple titles, and it has done so in the past. In my view this kind of spin off standalone title would offer a distinct enough experience to prevent the kind of franchise fatigue we saw when Rogue and Unity were simultaneously launched. For me it would be sweet irony that the game that ultimately put an end to the dream of a Modern Day game, may yet be its salvation. It would offer a new home for dedicated Modern Day and Multiplayer fans alike, and in light of other franchises which offer far less content - it is a concept with more than enough to warrant a strong successful launch. In my opinion it would ultimately pale the diminished sale figures of a third Watch Dogs game by comparison. Given the development cycle of the last game, we would not likely even see it until 2019. But by that time we may be seeing the next generation of consoles, and it would be a most timely release for AC fans.

ERICATHERINE
12-04-2016, 06:24 PM
In the earlier years of the Assassin's Creed franchise, under the creative leadership of Patrice Désilets, many fans expected Desmond Miles' story to culminate in a full game set purely in the Modern Day. Of course, for reasons widely known this did not come to pass. In the end, Ubisoft instead introduced the world to the game Watch Dogs - and for many Assassin's Creed fans it was felt that the premise of a pure Modern Day game was gone.

Fast forward to 2016, and the AC franchise finds itself in a period of transition. Since the untimely demise of poor Desmond, the Modern Day element to the series has been reduced from fully playable sections with a Modern Day protagonist, to merely non-interactive cutscenes. The reasons for this are numerous (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1327086-The-Modern-Day-Problem-What-is-the-solution), but suffice to say whilst there are many purist fans that love it, there are a fair amount of haters who do not. Throw in newcomers to the franchise, and an increasingly bloated plotline which gets longer and longer to explain, and Ubisoft finds itself in a difficult situation as so many are now looking to the IP for its 'historical tourism'. With recent news that future Assassin's Creed games will be 'less scripted' (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1520886-Assassin-s-Creed-Games-quot-will-have-less-narrative-focus-quot), many fans now assume that the natural victim of this will continue to be the Modern Day story element. - especially as the Titan Comics (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1389564-Assassin-s-Creed-Titan-Comics-Story-Analysis-amp-Discussion-(Spoilers)) series will evidently wrap up the Phoenix Project saga.

Modern Day lore has not been the only victim of changes to the franchise though. Indeed, for the first time since its introduction in 2010, with Syndicate in 2015 marked the first year that we did not have a new entry to the popular Multiplayer element. In May 2015, we were told by Ubisoft that they still had plans for AC Multiplayer, but they have as yet not come to pass. In fact the infamous 4chan Egypt leak even stated that Multiplayer would remain cut from the next game. As someone that enjoyed both Unity's Co-op and the traditional Multiplayer, it saddens me to see it ignored in this way - especially as so many fans still continue to keep the servers alive on all formats and games.

By all accounts, both the Modern Day and Multiplayer elements to the game series have dire futures. But there may be a possible solution.


Watch Dogs Controversy

The original Watch Dogs game released to quite famous controversy in May 2014. Whilst generally well received by critics, many fans felt that obvious graphical changes made to the console versions had amounted to false marketing. Nonetheless the game sold well, but some fans did not forget. A game set in the Modern Day, it drew obvious comparisons to the Grand Theft Auto series with an underlying focus on hacking as a gameplay mechanic.

The sequel, Watch Dogs 2 released in November 2016. Ubisoft themselves admitted (http://uk.ign.com/articles/2016/11/03/watch-dogs-2-pre-orders-below-ubisofts-expectations) that preorders for the game fell way below their expected targets, perhaps due to those very same fans abandoning the IP. Indeed, within the UK sales were down 80% (http://www.gamespot.com/articles/top-10-uk-sales-chart-watch-dogs-2-sales-down-80-f/1100-6445600/) in its first week of sale in direct comparison to the original game. Admittedly, sales were stronger in the second week, but they remain intrinsically low by all accounts at time of writing. This has led to some commentators suggesting that this may lead to the IP being considered tarnished and will be ultimately shelved with a third game cancelled - it would certainly not be the first Ubisoft IP to be put on the backburner due to poor sales.

In my view, this would be a great shame for two reasons. One, as a fan of open world games I have enjoyed both Watch Dogs games. And secondly, it shares so many elements with the Assassin's Creed Modern Day it would be a shame for all that work not to be repurposed.


An Assassin's Creed Rebrand

Thus we come to an interesting conclusion. Many of the elements that Darby spoke of in the opening paragraph are already solved within the Watch Dogs games. If we were to rebrand a third Watch Dogs game and create a standalone spin off title away from the main AC historical games, it could foster a new home for both the Modern Day and Multiplayer elements of the AC franchise.

There are numerous similarities after all between DedSec and the Modern Day Assassins.

http://i.imgur.com/EPBYWWo.png


They both use parkour.

http://i.imgur.com/DRYHttT.png


They both use drones.

http://i.imgur.com/drL1dUK.png


They both use guns.

http://i.imgur.com/ewLJZIU.png


They both use hacking.

http://i.imgur.com/fXTRnga.png


They both fight for freedom against an oppressive order of control.

http://i.imgur.com/FB4jpqg.png


And most importantly - they both wear hoods.

http://i.imgur.com/odEsh9x.png


Such a standalone title would be a great opportunity to give popular characters like Shaun, Rebecca, Galina and Charlotte a chance to shine. To satisfy both IP's fans, they could even induct DedSec as allies into the order, much in the same way as they have with Erudito. With the Juno plot supposedly being solved in the comics, it is perhaps a chance to reset the Modern Day, and open up a new chapter in the Assassin versus Templar war with players able to fully immerse themselves in the fight.

To that end, the Multiplayer elements of the Watch Dogs games seem an easy fit. I've embellished how I think a full Online game might work previously (http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1206217-Assassin-s-Creed-Online-The-Multiplayer-Future-is-coming), but its a genuine chance for players to create their own Assassin or Templar of their desired gender and race, and to ultimately fight the invisible war in a co-op sandbox environment. Due to the Modern Day setting, it would be perfectly reasonable for players to have access to an Animus too. This in itself is the perfect opportunity to resurrect the traditional Multiplayer too, and to allow multiple maps across the world throughout history.

With so many Multiplayer centric titles coming out of Ubisoft (For Honor, Rainbox Six Siege, Ghost Recon Wildlands, The Division) it is a genuine shame that their flagship franchise does not currently offer any such experience. In my view it is time for this to change, especially when so many other top developers such as CD Projekt Red and Rockstar are looking to seamlessly include Multiplayer elements in their upcoming open world titles.

In short, rebranding Watch Dogs would allow its excellent development team to continue developing their engine and systems, whilst simultaneously boosting sales by utilising the strong name of Assassin's Creed. For AC fans its gives a new opportunity for both the Modern Day and Multiplayer to be reborn, and at the same time does not impact on the main historical releases such as the supposed upcoming Egypt game.

Assassin's Creed is certainly big enough to release multiple titles, and it has done so in the past. In my view this kind of spin off standalone title would offer a distinct enough experience to prevent the kind of franchise fatigue we saw when Rogue and Unity were simultaneously launched. For me it would be sweet irony that the game that ultimately put an end to the dream of a Modern Day game, may yet be its salvation. It would offer a new home for dedicated Modern Day and Multiplayer fans alike, and in light of other franchises which offer far less content - it is a concept with more than enough to warrant a strong successful launch. In my opinion it would ultimately pale the diminished sale figures of a third Watch Dogs game by comparison. Given the development cycle of the last game, we would not likely even see it until 2019. But by that time we may be seeing the next generation of consoles, and it would be a most timely release for AC fans.


After having readed this, I have 3 things to say.

1- This at 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000%.

2- Shut up and take my money.

And 3- You! Stop what you're doing and go work for ubisoft. ^-^

SixKeys
12-05-2016, 07:33 AM
The problem - and I suspect this is why this hasn't been done so far - is that you say the AC brand's strong name would help carry W_D. But AC's brand hasn't been that strong recently as we have seen, while W_D's sequel is better received than the first part but hasn't quite come into its own yet. Combining the two at this point is by no means a guarantee of creating a strong brand. In the worst case it could end up hurting both, since not all who play AC are into W_D and vice versa.

AC comes with a lot of potential, but also a lot of baggage. Would the characters in W_D be forced to acknowledge the existence of an alien race? Would a holographic Juno show up every now and then to babble nonsense without actually affecting the plot? Why mess around with hacking phones if you know there are powerful mind-control devices called Pieces of Eden whose locations the assassins can pinpoint? Is Blume the bigger threat or Abstergo?

Sorrosyss
12-05-2016, 01:57 PM
Well, the Ezio Collection still managed to jump into the top ten for sales, so AC still has some fight left in it. But I think this is more a case of WD2 coming out the blocks so weakly, rather than AC being so fundamentally strong. My hope would be that in the three years that this game would take to arrive, that we'll have had a great film or two, and an Egypt game to redeem the franchise. Perhaps I'm over optimistic, but I still argue that Watch Dogs' future looks weaker.

As for the storytelling, eh, I'd leave that to wiser minds than mine to craft a storyline. But it is true to say that the Assassins and the Templars still use current technology, regardless of the Pieces of Eden out there. One could argue it would be unwise of them to even use them in public, else draw all sorts of attention upon themselves. I suppose we are kind of helped by the two IPs already having a tongue-in-cheek connected universe, with Blume and Abstergo already in cahoots. It just makes a DedSec and Assassin tie up more feasible in my mind. But for the most part my suggestion is that the game will be purely about the Assassins. Watch Dogs characters would be cameos at best in my head canon. Hehe. Then there was the supposed Juno appearance in the first game too. I'm sure some decent writing could tie it all up.

Lysette88
12-05-2016, 04:15 PM
The problem - and I suspect this is why this hasn't been done so far - is that you say the AC brand's strong name would help carry W_D. But AC's brand hasn't been that strong recently as we have seen, while W_D's sequel is better received than the first part but hasn't quite come into its own yet. Combining the two at this point is by no means a guarantee of creating a strong brand. In the worst case it could end up hurting both, since not all who play AC are into W_D and vice versa.

AC comes with a lot of potential, but also a lot of baggage. Would the characters in W_D be forced to acknowledge the existence of an alien race? Would a holographic Juno show up every now and then to babble nonsense without actually affecting the plot? Why mess around with hacking phones if you know there are powerful mind-control devices called Pieces of Eden whose locations the assassins can pinpoint? Is Blume the bigger threat or Abstergo?

As one of the "new players" in the series and a "history tourist", how it was put by the OP, I can see that a merger could ruin both. I play AC for the historical content and give a damn about MD and the whole alien race background. I would be perfectly happy if this would be stripped or reduced to a minimum like in Syndicate and it would be just "historical tourism". I have bought Watch Dogs 1, because it was cheap, but I have yet to convince me to start it up - it's in Chicago, a terrible city throughout history (I watched the lengthy documentary about Chicago in the "american experience" series), and I do not know, if I will like the game - well, I will try it eventually, when there is nothing else to play. Now when I think about that both would be combined - that what attracts me to AC would be gone - modern day is not interesting to me, I live in that world, in a game I want something different.