Watch Dogs wasn't initially conceptualised as the hacking-themed open world adventure we're expecting next year; its core ideas were salvaged from a shuttered project.
Speaking with IGN, Ubisoft North America president Laurent Detoc revealed the secret origins of the new IP.
"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," he said.
"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.”
Detoc stressed that it's not that a Driver game was repurposed; more that Ubisoft realised the game it was making wasn't a Driver game at all, and spun off in a different direction as a result of formally retiring the Driver project.
"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," he said.
"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 expected in the second quarter on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.