Ubisoft has released an official response to the uncovered and deactivated PC settings for Watch Dogs, claiming the graphical enhancements were disabled because they affected performance and the overall gameplay of the open-world title.
The Watch Dogs team provided the statement on the game's forums in response to PC modders unearthing visual enhancements in the game's code earlier this week, which reportedly increased rain density and non-playable character count — among other improvements — in the Ubisoft-developed title. "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," the statement reads.
"... 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," the Watch Dogs team said. "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."
Some of the disabled PC settings for Watch Dogs related to the E3 demos for the game that were shown in 2012 and 2013. But thisisn't the first time visuals shown in an E3 demo have been called into question once the game finally releases to the public.