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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fictionalized, Hyperconnected Chicago Is the Virtual Location of Action-Adventure Video Game "Watch Dogs"

Watch Dogs (stylized as WATCH_DOGS) is an upcoming open world action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft that is set within a fictionalized, hyper-connected version of Chicago, Illinois, which is managed through a centralised system called ctOS (the city's central operating system).

A game player is able to hack into the lives of fictional characters that live and work in Chicago. Players able to eavesdrop into phone calls, hack into anyone's life, identify criminals, disrupt communications, and disrupt infrastructure.

While the player is watching, any other character in the game could be watching and acting on the player.


WATCH_DOGS is due for release worldwide on May 27, 2014 on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One consoles. The Wii U version of the game has been put on hold while the other versions are being developed.

Players can also receive information on civilians via augmented reality feeds, which provide the player with information on demographics, health, and potential behavior. All of the hacking access is done directly from the smartphone of an Irish-American vigilante named Aiden Pearce. He carries around a phone that is equipped with multiple applications, namely "the profiler" and "the crime prevention system." Other applications interact more directly with the environment around Pearce - interfering the city's infrastructure.

A fictional Chicago Fire Department Engine 41 is seen in in the game's trailer. The real "Engine 41" is actually a fire boat that has been out of service since 1981.

“The themes and open gameplay of ‘Watch Dogs’ lends itself perfectly to the big screen. The game has intense action and adventure, but the story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller. It has tremendous potential as a motion picture and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Ubisoft’s internal creative team on the development of the project.” 
-- Hannah Minghella, president of Production forColumbia Pictures

Variety reports that Ubisoft is developing a WATCH_DOGS film -- working with Columbia Pictures and New Regency to make the film. Sony will distribute the film in the US and 20th Century Fox will handle the international distribution rights.


Ubisoft: "Learn more about the most anticipated game of the year. See how brand new technology puts Watch_Dogs at the forefront of next gen gaming and unleashes the power of your console."

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