Watch Dogs has been the subject of scrutiny this week, after a modder found hidden settings that could be tweaked to enable better visuals. Ubisoft has now responded to the controversy, stating that the render settings could boost performance, but that they could have "negative impacts."
The statement on the Watch Dogs site (via GameSpot) also outright rejects the implication that the game was intentionally hobbled in any way. As always with mods, you should use it as your own risk, since we haven't seen evidence of the full game being played using it. Ubisoft's statement can be read in full below:
"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."