Upcoming Game Watch Dogs Gets Hacking Advice from Kaspersky

Posted by Jim Tanous on May 10, 2013
Watch Dogs Hacking

Watch Dogs is an upcoming open world adventure game which focuses on the player’s ability to fight (or cause) crime by hacking into a variety of electronic systems in a big city, such as pedestrian smartphones, ATM machines, and traffic lights. But according to the game’s senior producer, the “hacking” aspect of the game may be more realistic than first anticipated.

Ubisoft Montreal’s Dominic Guay told the audience during a San Francisco press event for the game this week that the developer is working with Kaspersky Lab, a major internet security and anti-virus firm, on increasing the realism of the game’s hacking mechanics.

We’re working with Kaspersky Lab, a big security firm. They have really hardcore experts there on hacking. We send them some of our designs and we ask them feedback on it, and it’s interesting to see what gets back. Sometimes they say, ‘Yeah, that’s possible, but change that word,’ or, ‘That’s not the way it works.’

Aspiring hackers shouldn’t get too excited, however; the game won’t teach you how to hack a city’s traffic management system. Rather, the “hacking” gameplay will be accessible to everyone, but realistic in how it’s portrayed. If it’s possible for an expert hacker to use a smartphone to breach a bank’s security system, then the game will allow the player’s character to follow that path. The goal of the developer’s interactions with Kaspersky is to minimize the unrealistic and sensational ways that hacking is described in movies and other games, hopefully reducing the number of times a player will say “oh, come on, that’s not even possible!”

Watch Dogs was showcased at Sony’s PS4 event in February (video above) and will launch on the next generation platform in the fourth quarter. The game is also coming to current generation consoles — PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U — and the PC on November 19 in North America.

Now we’re left wondering about the novel in-game marketing opportunities for anti-virus firms. “Sorry, you can’t hack that machine. It’s running Kaspersky Internet Security 2013!”

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