Why the Watch Dogs team isn't scared of GTA V

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the development team behind Watch Dogs might be feeling a little nervous right now. They've created an open world sandbox game, set in a virtual version of a real American city, and it's hitting shelves only a few months after the record-smashing juggernaut of Grand Theft Auto V.

Have they succumbed to pressure and borrowed ideas from Rockstar's opus? Not on your nelly. "You always want to make sure that what you put in is to the service of the game," creative director Jonathan Morin has told VG247. "I think GTA has a great fantasy and everything they put in it reinforces that fantasy. What you don't do is start copying or start feeling the pressure of your neighbour like, 'Oh my god we need a chopper.'"

That's not to say there aren't similarities of course, but the focus of the game is very much on the way you can hack the city systems to your advantage, not how much crazy carnage you can cause. "For us some stuff is inevitable, like we need cars," Morin admits. "If you don't drive it's going to take a long time. So you do need those obvious things, but afterwards it was all about hacking, or what you want to do, and it's constantly got to be about that. It doesn't mean we couldn't have put in a chopper or something else in, but it would have always have been - if we had done it - because it fits or there's one cool thing about hacking we could do with it."

That doesn't stop people pestering Morin on Twitter, asking if GTA features will be replicated in Watch Dogs. "It's funny," he says, "because on one side it's cool that they want to know what's going on in the game, but on the other I'm curious. I ask, 'Why are you asking me if you can do stuff you already did? Why are you not asking me about the stuff you've never done?'"

Watch Dogs is out for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii U on November 22nd. The PlayStation 4 version follows a week later on November 29th.

Published: 10/10/2013

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