Watch Dogs 2 is in development and will be released by the end of March, 2017, publisher Ubisoft announced Thursday. Ubisoft broke the silence on the sequel’s development by listing the sequel among the tentpole releases for the 2017 fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. According to Eurogamer, Ubisoft also expects to release culture-clashing brawler For Honor, and a pair of previously announced sequels, South Park: The Fractured but Whole and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: WildLands, during that period.
“For Honor, South Park: The Fractured but Whole, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: WildLands, the next installment of Watch Dogs, and a new high-potential AAA brand with strong digital live services.”
The news comes hot on the heels of the public announcement that it will not publish a new entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise in 2016, making this the first year the company has gone without releasing a new game in the franchise in more than five years. A report from Kotaku about the next Assassin’s Creed game suggested that Ubisoft may look to Watch Dogs to fill the gap if the publisher decides to permanently slow the series production schedule.
Though Ubisoft had not officially announced that a Watch Dogs follow-up was on the way, creative director Jonathan Morin all but confirm the game’s existence during an April, 2015, interview with Games UK.
“With a sequel, there is more pressure to push a brand forward and we now have to appeal to fans in a new way,” Morin said. “You have to carry on taking risks.”
A Ubisoft programmer also spilled the beans by listing it on his LinkedIn profile back in 2015. Then again, the game sold nine million copies between May and October, 2014, so a sequel was basically inevitable.