Ubisoft North American president Laurent Detoc has revealed that Watch Dogs started out as a potential Driver game. Speaking to IGN, Detoc told how the company had the Driver license and began work on an entry to the series. However, the project was cancelled and restarted and parts of the engine were used in what eventually became Watch Dogs. Detoc had this to say about the change in direction early in the project,
It’s not that Driver became Watch Dogs, so much as the driving game we made was a driving game. The decision was made that there was another driving game being made and this one should be an open-world game where the guy comes out of the car and does other things. Then the team decides to reshuffle itself entirely. A few other people come in, a new creative director, and then they start a new game. I wouldn’t say that Driver became Watch Dogs, because that’s not true. That’s not really what happens. What happens is that a game gets cancelled, and then you take pieces of that game to make a new one. We could have had another driving engine from another team in another place, and then it would have been used by the Watch Dogs team.