Ubisoft responds to Watch Dogs settings mod

Ubisoft has released an official statement in response to the controversy over hidden graphics settings in Watch Dogs. It specifically dismisses the notion of downgrading quality intentionally, and warns of potential "negative impacts."

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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."

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  • reply
    June 20, 2014 10:08 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Ubisoft responds to Watch Dogs settings mod.

    Ubisoft has released an official statement in response to the controversy over hidden graphics settings in Watch Dogs. It specifically dismisses the notion of downgrading quality intentionally, and warns of potential "negative impacts."

    • reply
      June 20, 2014 11:30 AM

      I'm using it and loving it. NO problems for me here and I have a much better, smoother game because of it.

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        June 20, 2014 2:08 PM

        Am I not right, that all you have to do is change 1 word to get the effects? Game runs just as fine, if not better, by changing that one word to ultra. You don't even have to download the extra camera files. One word. One word. That isn't a mod. That said, Ubisoft should encourage people with geforce 780 or equivalent to turn that sucker on.

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          June 20, 2014 4:53 PM

          changing Quality="ultra" in the xml file is exactly the same as setting your graphics to the Ultra preset in game

          TheWorse's own words:

          As I said earlier, the above step may not be necessary to all users but when you change the Quality="xxx" value, you are simply using a different method to change the 1st option
          in the Advanced Graphic Settings in the Main Menu in Watch Dogs. Eg, you could just do it ingame rather than editing the GamerProfile file.

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      June 20, 2014 11:58 AM

      Its seems like, after the huge public outcry of the "downgrade", regardless of affecting gameplay, or whatever.. they would have optimised and made use of those settings. Its caused nothing but negative implications.

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        June 20, 2014 12:04 PM

        From what I have gathered, and I may be incorrect in this assumption, Ubisoft made a decision to have the PC look as identical as the X1 and PS4 versions of the game. Whether they were contractually coerced or pressured by a third party, I cannot say.

        I also do not hold the notion that they couldnt have fixed any bugs or playability issues given the 2 years of optimizing. Their optimizing seemed to consist of simple console parity.

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          June 20, 2014 2:32 PM

          "Ubisoft made a decision to have the PC look as identical as the X1 and PS4 versions of the game. Whether they were contractually coerced or pressured by a third party, I cannot say. "

          What company in their right mind in this economy would make their game look worse without being coerced into it? M$ has been using the threat of tying up your game in certification and making you endlessly re-submit until you run out of money and HAVE to ship since the beginning of the xbox. They got pressured into this because none of the console makers will let them have the video card the developers want to develop for because it raises the cost of the console to that of a PC and they have been trying to get gamers off the PC since they can't make a stable OS and have DirectX and game on the same box. All they want is another 7+ years out of the xbone and they are realizing that unless they FORCE devs to downgrade their titles they are going to get maybe 3.

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            June 20, 2014 3:19 PM

            Because later they could sell a DLC to "improve visuals on the PC platform" for an additional $10

            Not that hard to suss out really.

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            June 20, 2014 3:58 PM

            A company with limited time and resources to create a game with a new IP, new mechanics, and new(ish) engine.

            /{What company in their right mind in this economy would make their game look worse without being coerced into it?]/

            Ubisoft had no problem making the PC version of Assassin's Creed 4 look better than the consoles. The idea that they deliberately made the PC version of Watch_Dogs look worse for any reasons other than time and money constraints is dubious at best.

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              June 20, 2014 4:43 PM

              I think to say it's dubious is giving it too much credit.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s46_MWDUEnY

              They officially advertised how much better the PC version would look. The whole conspiracy idea is pure tinfoil hat nonsense. They had the difficult task of releasing a new IP and as you said using a newish engine on four consoles spanning two generations of hardware, plus supporting a wide variety of PC hardware. As far as I'm concerned aside from the PC performance issues they're did a pretty good job.

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            June 20, 2014 5:53 PM

            lol

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      June 20, 2014 2:46 PM

      They don't seem to be handling it very well. This seems like a great opportunity to say, "Hey, we're glad everyone is enjoying it. We're going to include that stuff in an upcoming patch to thank our PC users for their support."

      Instead they basically just did the textual equivalent of dickbutt.

      • reply
        June 20, 2014 9:36 PM

        Where are you guys in my thread? My arse is sore!