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The PC version of Watch Dogs has caused quite a bit of frustration for PC gamers since its release back in May. The game’s launch was hampered by Uplay issues, Ubisoft’s digital distribution platform, and overall performance issues. But the latest controversy has caused Ubisoft to respond to the discovery of deactivated settings for the PC version of Watch Dogs.
Modders recently discovered that high-end graphical effects had been deactivated for the PC retail version with NeoGaf user Jibbed documenting the discovery. References were found in the code that suggested the settings and animations were meant for an ”E3” mode when the game had been shown at the conference. Meanwhile, the discovery of the deactivated effects in the game’s code prompted a modder with the handle TheWorse to release a mod that activates the visual enhancements
Speculation on Ubisoft’s reasons for disabling the graphical effects had prompted the developer to respond on its official website that reads, “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.”
Admitting to the existence of the disabled settings in Watch Dogs, which broke into Raptr’s “most-played games on PC” list for the month of May, Ubisoft continued, “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.”
In light of its admittance, will Ubisoft release a patch, or multiple patches, to enable the visual enhancements or will it be up to the modding community to pick up where they left off?