Watch Dogs videogame franchise is dead, rumour suggests

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A previously reliable leaker of Ubisoft info claims that open-world hacking videogame franchise Watch Dogs has been quietly shelved.

In videogame terms, things have been rather quiet on the Watch Dogs front in recent years, with the most recent title in the open-world hacker franchise, Watch Dogs: Legion, getting its last update in January 2022.

There may be a good reason for this. According to Twitter/X user j0nathan (via Push Square), who has form when it comes to leaking Ubisoft information, the publishing giant has quietly shelved Watch Dogs. In the process, the rumour goes, it also cancelled some sort of battle royale mode or spin-off, which possibly would have been added to Watch Dogs: Legion in an update.

Watch Dogs is basically finished at this point,” j0nathan wrote (as translated from French via Google). “The flop of Legion destroyed the licence’s projects (including a pretty original battle royale).”

Again, j0nathan has provided accurate inside information in the past; in 2022, he provided some detailed gossip about Assassin’s Creed Mirage's plot, setting and mechanics, a full year before the game was released.

Watch Dogs: Legion, released in 2020, initially sold fairly well (roughly 1.9m digital copies were shifted in its first three days). Reviews were mixed, though, and it’s possible sales slowed sharply after that initial burst. (Aside from that announcement about Legion’s first three days on sale, accurate sales data doesn’t appear to be available.)

There is one question mark around the Watch Dogs rumour, though: it was only a month ago, in March 2024, that a film spin-off based on the franchise was announced. Production company New Regency is taking the lead on the Watch Dogs movie, it was reported at the time, with Talk To Me actor Sophie Wilde set to star.

Perhaps Ubisoft hopes that a hit movie carrying the Watch Dogs name will revive the whole franchise – the success of the Fallout TV series has led to a huge uptick in Bethesda’s original videogames, for example. Or maybe the rumour itself is inaccurate; at present, Ubisoft is yet to comment on the matter. We’ll update you as we learn more.

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