Yesterday Ubisoft held a Watch_Dogs panel at San Diego Comic Con titled “Does Privacy Exist?” As part of the panel Lead Story Designer Kevin Short explained how the hacking features will push players to make moral choices not directly related to the main story in the sandbox environment of the game.
Short explained that due to the hacking abilities of the game’s protagonist, players will be completely surrounded by the information of 3 million people and confronted by their feelings. Whether they’ll take any action based on what they’ll learn or not will be their personal moral choice, as those people will feel like humans with a real life and not just NPCs.
For instance players may hack into the cellphone of a husband whose wife has been raped, and learn that he’s planning to kill the culprit. Do they go there to stop him or let it happen? Even the development staff is divided on this kind of choice, and Short mentioned that he’d like players to think with their own heads on what to do, and he can’t wait to see what the players will choose when the game will be released.
This actually begs a question: will privacy exist in the game, or Ubisoft will actually monitor what we’ll do in the shoes of Aiden Pearce? Of course this is just my own joke (it wasn’t mentioned by Short, to be clear, so don’t go calling the cops on Ubisoft just yet), but they could… After all does privacy really exist in Watch_Dogs?