Ubisoft recently announced that its new game release, Watch Dogs, set an ongoing sales record for the video gaming publisher. The game has now sold more than 4 million copies in its first week of release. This marks Watch Dogs as Ubisoft’s best-selling new game IP ever in its first week of release across the industry. Watch Dogs was released on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows PC on May 27.
The excellent sales for Watch Dogs gave key Ubisoft staff members a lot of reason to celebrate. Senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ubisoft, Tony Key, stated, “With such strong sales momentum and positive feedback from gamers, Watch Dogs has positioned itself as the must-have game of the moment.” Key added, “We’re really proud of this achievement, and are confident that the Watch Dogs brand has a promising future.”
The new Ubisoft industry sales record set by Watch Dogs comes from National Purchase Diary and GFK data. The data was also based on Ubisoft’s own internal estimates as of June 3, 2014. The Watch Dogs release was supported by a free companion mobile app called ctOS Mobile. The ctOS is a fictionalized centralized computer system in the game. The main protagonist, Aiden Pearce, has the ability to hack into in the game’s version of Chicago. The mobile lets players connect with the Watch Dogs universe at any time and provides a dual-screen gameplay experience. According to Ubisoft, the companion app for Watch Dogs has been downloaded by more than one million people. That particular figure comes from Ubisoft’s internal estimates based on Watch Dogs sales worldwide for all platforms as of June 3, 2014.
The sales record is a major feather in Ubisoft’s cap. Watch Dogs proves that Ubisoft still has the ability to launch a new, original intellectual property across a huge multi-platform release. In addition, the game received overall strong reviews from critics. Review aggregate site Metacritic has Watch Dogs ranked at 81%, 78% and 78% across the respective PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One platforms.
Watch Dogs follows Aiden Pearce, a hacker-turned-vigilante on a quest for revenge. Pearce is a brilliant hacker who uses the city’s own ctOS system as his weapon to hack into security cameras, traffic lights and even ATMs. The game features a massive, open-world sandbox for Chicago, Illinois. Another aspect of the game is a very mature storyline, in which players are able to dictate their choices in a grey world. The players’ actions decided throughout the game also determine how aggressively police and the authorities will pursue Pearce. Ultimately, a player may choose to flagrantly disobey the law, or act as a vigilante to prevent criminal acts by using Pearce’s hacking abilities to figure out when a crime is about to be committed.
Now that the game is a bonafide hit and top seller, a follow-up from Ubisoft will not be far behind. For now though, Ubisoft can enjoy the fruits of their labor with Watch Dogs setting a new industry sales record. More recently, Ubisoft released the first downloadable content for the game for The Conspiracy! Digital Trip release, in which players have to fight deadly cyborgs. Watch Dogs will next hit the Nintendo Wii U console later this fall.
By Jeffrey Harris