Watch Dog Shatters Ubisoft Records Despite Failed PR Stunt
There’s no need to hack ATM machines anymore, Aidan, because Watch Dogs has sold more copies in its first 24 hours of availability than another other Ubisoft title. You know what rhymes with Watch Dogs? Bomb Squad.
Ubisoft has announced that Watch Dogs has sold more copies in the first 24 hours of its release than any previous title in the company’s 28 year history. This is a surprise considering that Ubisoft has so many best-selling franchises, such as the Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Tom Clancy, Rayman, Prince of Persia and Far Cry series. Commenting on Watch Dogs’ initial success, Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot said the following:
“Watch Dogs is an amazing achievement and our teams should be proud that the creativity, innovation and long hours they invested in making this game are paying off. It’s great to see so many players enjoying the game, and it shows that Watch Dogs has cracked the code for developing a new blockbuster IP and a thoroughly new-gen experience.”
These sales numbers are even more impressive when factoring in a recent PR stunt Ubisoft did that backfired tremendously. The London Evening Standard reports that in order to promote Watch Dogs, members of Ubisoft’s Australian offices sent over a special, Watch Dogs-related package to Ninemsn, a news site owned by both Microsoft and the Austrailia-based Nine Entertainment Co. A black safe was delivered to a Ninemsn reporter’s office with a note telling her to “check her voicemail,” which had messages from the Aussie Ubisoft team about Watch Dogs and instructions on how to open the safe to get the promotional material of the game inside.
The reporter didn’t have a clue what the safe was for and it started to beep on its own. Ninemsn checked to see if any other newsrooms received similar packages, decided to call the police and evacuated their offices in downtown Sydney, thinking it was a bomb. Apparently, the reporter received a nasty hang-up message from an unknown number the night before, increasing her fears towards the strange delivery.
— Natasha Lee (@tashlee) May 28, 2014
A police bomb squad reached the office within minutes and relocated the safe to the office’s basement to open it safely without accessing any of its locking mechanisms. After forcing it open, police were surprised to find that the safe only contained a copy of Watch Dogs along with some other promotional material. Unfortunately, someone at Ubisoft didn’t do their homework, because Ninemsn doesn’t cover video game news at all.