Watch Dogs was a success for Ubisoft after its release in May of last year, so it only makes sense that the development studio is working on a sequel. And while Watch Dogs 2 has not officially been announced, Senior Vice President Tony Key said at last year's E3 expo that the game is officially a franchise, hinting that a sequel is in the works.
"Any team that's going to make a sequel is going to have to come up with something innovative and entertaining," Key said. "Otherwise, the brand doesn't grow. That'll be the challenge for the guys, if and when they start talking about making another game."
The original Watch Dogs has enjoyed over 8 million sales and mostly positive reviews from gaming sites. A sequel has been on the minds of many fans of the first game, and the most recent rumors point to a possible release in July of 2016 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
"When you start a new project [and new IP], it's a blank page and everything you do is what you want to do," said creative director Jonathan Morin in an interview with GamesTM. "With a sequel, there is more pressure to push a brand forward and we now have to appeal to fans in a new way."
The first Watch Dogs is set in a fictionalized version of Chicago, following the story of a hacker named Aiden Pearce who is seeking revenge for the death of his neice. The environment of the game is a completely open world where you can explore to your heart's content, but linear scenarios and missions keep the player on track to completing the game's story.
The rich storyline and innovative hacking mechanics made the game an instant success, breaking a record for the biggest first-day sales for an Ubisoft game. But despite that success, Morin says that there's room for improvement, especially in a sequel.
"I don't think Watch Dogs is perfect in any way and there's a lot of room for improvement", he admits. "But you don't always see this when you ship a game. We deliver what we believe the brand should be at the time. But afterward, when you cool down after five and a half years [of development] and take your vacations and people play the game, certain elements become clear. They let you continue to bring what you envision to the next level with the fans included this time, which is where I think it really gets interesting."
Other rumors revolve around the idea that the main character, Aiden Pearce, will be replaced with Raymond "T-Bone" Kenney from the first game. T-Bone had a main storyline in the September DLC for Watch Dogs called Bad Blood, so that may have been to prepare players for a switch in main characters, although none of this has been confirmed.
"We knew it would be polarizing; some people loved the characters and some didn't," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in regards to the character switch rumor. "It was difficult to please everybody with that character. Now, having seen the reaction, we know what we will do next to improve that."