In a statement released earlier today, Ubisoft confirmed that it deactivated select Watch Dogs graphic settings on the PC prior to its launch back in May. This statement comes hot on the heels of reports that a modder has discovered the settings hidden in the game’s code.
If you recall, prior to Watch Dogs‘ launch, there were online debates regarding the issue of the title’s graphics being significantly “downgraded” from when it was first unveiled at E3 2012. However, the settings that were discovered by a modder going by the handle The Worse, improve various visual effects for the game, including changes to fog effects, bloom, lightning and shadows, which give it a look more in line with the debut footage that we initially saw.
While the company remained silent on the modifications originally, Ubisoft released a statement today talking about why it could potentially be bad for the title if these settings were activated:
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.
This whole situation is quickly turning into a debacle for Ubisoft, and while it won’t hurt Watch Dogs‘ sales, it’s certainly not doing the company any favors. While no one knows for sure why they decided to deactivate these settings, the fact that they are still in the game’s code indicates that it wasn’t the original plan.
Tell us, what are your thoughts on Ubisoft messing around with the quality of Watch Dogs‘ graphics prior to the title’s launch? Sound off below!