Watch, Don’t Touch: Watch Dogs Movie In The Works

By Nathan Grayson on August 21st, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

It’s Gamescom, one of the many firework-enshrouded peaks of game convention season. You know what that means: glitz and glamour galore. No, the Hollywood-style antics don’t quite reach the fever pitch of, say, an E3, but there’s still plenty of triple-A chest-thumping to go around. And so, Ubisoft has rolled out another movie deal, this time for not-even-out-yet open-world hackomancy thing Watch Dogs. Technically, the game’s title now has an underscore in it, but I refuse to write it that way because it looks hideous. Anyway, like all videogame movies (except ones based on franchises no one cares about), it’ll probably never come out. But let’s listen to a bunch of executive types be super optimistic anyway!

Ubisoft is pairing with Sony Pictures and New Regency for the project, and no one thinks they’re jumping the gun on a game that has yet to prove itself successful or even good at all. Here’s Ubi:

“Since both Sony and Ubisoft have movie and video game branches, this deal creates exceptional opportunities for us to merge the realms of the story-based cinematic experience with the interaction of the video game. In addition, Sony Pictures and New Regency have deep production expertise and are letting us maintain a strong creative voice in the film’s development. Together, we’re confident we can deliver a movie that builds upon the excitement that the game is already generating.”

It’s worth noting that Ubisoft is also working with New Regency on Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell movies. Both have yet to materialize in any appreciable way, though Ubisoft does at least have a dedicated film branch that’s produced some surprisingly decent short film advertisements. Maybe at least one of these blockbusters will someday see the light of day? I’m not sure if I’m particularly interested in watching when I could be playing (and let’s face it: these games have utterly rubbish stories), but it’d be nice to see something come of all this Hollywood hoopla.

And hey, if nothing else, Watch Dogs certainly looks like it wants to be a movie in its new Gamescom trailer. Have a look-see below, and then destroy all your gadgets in sheer future shock terror. It’s the only way to be sure your phone won’t be used to blow up a light.

(Disclaimer: I think Watch Dogs looks like it could be an interesting game, though I worry that the hacking will just be relegated to the status of a cheap, context-predetermined gimmick. I want it to be good, but I just find this movie business to be a bit preemptive.)

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  1. misterT0AST says:

    Woha, it’s just like that Eternal Darkness movie which was in the works, and that Dante’s Inferno movie which was in the works, and that Fable movie that was in the works, and that Warcraft movie that was in the works.
    It would actually be hard to keep track of these projects if they had any progress at all to keep track of.

    • Knightley4 says:

      Uhh, actually, Warcraft movie had some footage at Comic-Con. It’s not going to be in the final version, but still.
      As for Ubisoft their Assassins Creed movie is really in the works. There was some news lately that screenwriter of Wolverine is going to rewrite their script or something. It’s not a good news, in my opinion, though…

    • KevinLew says:

      Most of those games that you listed were never actually greenlit. I’m almost positive that those games were only licensed or optioned for a movie adaptation, and then fans or media extrapolated it to mean “Movie Is Being Made” which is absolutely untrue.

      I need to point out that most entertainment junk does get licensed. In most cases, it’s not even because the studios want to do anything with it, but it’s like insurance. You could use it, or block your competition from using it–or you can do nothing with it. Also, sometimes it’s just a bunch of “talk” to raise hype and nothing else. There’s plenty of instances where a producer or director announces that they want to make something into a movie, but they don’t have anything lined up–no script, no crew, no cast. If nobody wants to finance it, or nobody wants to direct it, etc., then the movie quietly disappears.

  2. Chalky says:

    I worry that the hacking will just be relegated to the status of a cheap, context-predetermined gimmick.

    Yeah, I feel the same. If the solution to multiple situations is “raise road bollards to stop car”, etc it’ll take a lot of the shine off.

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    AlwaysRight says:

    Call me Captain Cyril C Cynical but:

    “It’ll probably be shite”

  4. Syphus says:

    I am really excited about the game…BUT, isn’t there already a movie, except its a TV show and called “Person of Interest”?

  5. CutieKnucklePie says:

    Hey look, it’s Anonymous

  6. Dowson says:

    You know it’ll be good because its based on a Video Game.

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    sinister agent says:

    Proposed tagline: “What goes tick-tick-woof?”

  8. int says:

    Perhaps it will be like Enemy of the State but with less Hackman. But with a main character who is a Hackman.

    *Boos self*

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  10. Muzman says:

    I’m a bit worried if Hollywood got this close to representing the Defcon-ish parts of internet life accurately (not that accurate, but leaps and bounds ahead of previous efforts if they hold true).
    People have been freaked out enough about hacking before and it helped with a lot of stupid regulations appearing. Now evil(?) hacker superhero controls everything. Yikes.
    Its liable to bring about the real security future of completely locked down devices and feudal technology even faster.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      I’m a bit worried if Hollywood got this close to representing the Defcon-ish parts of internet life accurately (not that accurate, but leaps and bounds ahead of previous efforts if they hold true).
      People have been freaked out enough about hacking before and it helped with a lot of stupid regulations appearing.

      The real approach I want to see in a video game is the opposite of “hackers kill the world”. How about, “hackers, whistleblowers and brave souls save the world from US and UK governments who have become de facto police states”.

      I would enjoy a game that makes the hero someone who defeats the surveillance state. It can be, as they say, “ripped from today’s headlines”. Time to make people who defeat government surveillance the heroes again.

    • AlmostPalpable says:

      I doubt it will have any kind of serious effect because the kind of people who would go to see such a film (or indeed play this game) would be the kind of people who already think hackers are as powerful as Jesus was back in his prime and can do actual magics like save the Earth from Martian invaders or make toast become un-burnt. It might make trench-coats cool with the pseudo-intellectual knob-end crowd again like The Matrix did for a while but that’s all I, as a master of the future, can see happening.

  11. sabasNL says:

    I was really excited for this game, but all I hear are cynical opinions… I won’t pre-order for sure, but I still don’t really see why the game isn’t more hyped

    • Caiman says:

      To be honest, I used to be excited by this game, but I’m slowly getting the Creeping Dread (TM) that I get when a game starts getting overhyped, execs start getting over excited, movie deals come along, and the chances of the possibly innovative and exciting game that was originally shown off being actually great (or even good) start to slide.

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    chabuhi says:

    First thing I’m doing in this game? Going to my real world office. Hopefully my real world boss doesn’t also play the game and make me go to work in my virtual office.

    I hope they do a faithful recreation of Chicago – not that that’s essential to yhe game being good, but it’s a bit immersion-breaking to us locals when the heart of the Loop is at “Main & Elm”.

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    The Random One says:

    So now it has an underscore in the title? So that this game about incredible future technology sounds more like a file naming convention that hasn’t been necessary in almost twenty years?

    Ubi should go all the way and name it watch_do~1.exe

  14. HilariousCow says:

    “Watch, Don’t Touch”

    “No Petting: WatchDogs”, surely?