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Everybody relax, Watch Dogs has not been cancelled

Check out our full written Watch Dogs review.

Earlier this week a rumor began to make its way around the Internet that Ubisoft’s open world hacker game Watch Dogs was cancelled. The rumor began with a NeoGAF user who posted that a request had been made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to abandon the trademark. Those waiting eagerly for the game can relax though, as it appears the filing was fraudulent and the game is still on track, according to Ubisoft a statement issued to IGN.

“On February 1, 2014, Ubisoft Entertainment received an email from TEAS@uspto.gov notifying Ubisoft Entertainment that a Request for Express Abandonment had been filed in connection with Application Serial No. 85642398. The Request for Express Abandonment purports to be signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft Entertainment, Yves Guillemot.

“Mr. Guillemot, however, did not sign the Request for Express Abandonment, nor did Ubisoft Entertainment file the Request for Express Abandonment. The Request for Express Abandonment is fraudulent and was not filed by Ubisoft Entertainment or its representative.”

There was never any real risk of the game not being released, but it did play off of fears fans may have had following the game’s initial delay. Game delays are nothing new, but Watch Dogs was scheduled as a launch title for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One before its release was pushed back just weeks before it was set to arrive. Fans were upset, and investors were angry. Ubisoft’s shares fell 22-percent following the announcement, which was compounded by the new, vague release of Q2 2014. Four months after the initial announcement of the delay, and there is still no firm release date.

That created fertile ground for the news of the copyright abandonment to take off and spread throughout the Internet, in the way only an unpopular rumor can. Ubisoft is moving to re-file paperwork though, and this incident will have no affect on the game’s development at all.

Now the investigation into who did this begins. The USPTO has not responded to various requests to outline the potential penalties for filing a fraudulent report, but the government doesn’t tend to have a sense of humor about these types of things.

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