Earlier this week, Watch Dogs was brought back into the spotlight after modders discovered files hidden in the PC version of the game that unlocked the spectacular visuals that were in the E3 demo presented in 2012. Questions were asked and fingers pointed at Ubisoft, many asking if they dumbed down the visuals in the PC version in order to bring them in line with the next-gen consoles. Finally, Ubisoft has replied with a statement, but I’m sure that it’s not what most people expected:
The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we’ve set out to achieve. We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they’re released, striving for the best possible quality. The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused render settings that were deactivated for a variety of reasons, including possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality. Modders are usually creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) subjectively enhances the game’s visual fidelity in certain situations but also can have various negative impacts. Those could range from performance issues, to difficulty in reading the environment in order to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less enjoyable or even unstable.
Thanks for playing Watch Dogs and stay safe on the mean streets of Chicago.
-The Watch Dogs Team
A lot of conspiracy theories are floating around concerning this topic, some of them suspecting Microsoft and Sony of paying off the Ubisoft teams involved with the game to bring the PC version in-line with consoles and others suspecting only Sony after they released console bundles with the game and were able to create a deal with Ubisoft regarding exclusive content.
Whatever the reason behind the hidden graphic files, nobody is going to know the truth, even if the statement that Ubisoft is currently using is just that. What do you think the reason behind Watch Dogs ugly looks on PC are?