The “leaked Ubisoft trailer” inside Watch Dogs 2 is for a real sci-fi game called (or code-named) Pioneer, sources say. But Pioneer is running into troubled development and may not be announced as soon as Ubisoft had originally planned—if it comes out at all.
Watch Dogs 2, which launched today, includes a mission in which your protagonist infiltrates a mock version of Ubisoft San Francisco and steals a video game trailer, then sells it to a game website. (Hmm.) When the trailer popped up on YouTube over the weekend, it led to loads of speculation: Was this just a fun in-joke or an actual new game that Ubisoft found a really clever way to announce?
Turns out it’s the latter. Two sources familiar with goings-on at Ubisoft tell Kotaku that this is a teaser trailer for a very real space exploration game called Pioneer. However, sources say, Pioneer hit some development hurdles (as most if not all video games do) and the game’s current status is rocky.
“The project was supposed to be announced next year,” said one source, adding that Ubisoft had replaced many of the leads on Pioneer within the past few months. “That won’t happen now and Pioneer is now being ‘retooled.’”
“When they decided to make the easter egg in Watch Dogs 2 they didn’t know it was going to be like this so it’s a bit awkward,” said a second source.
Yes, we recognize the irony of Kotaku reporting on unannounced information about a leaked trailer within a Watch Dogs 2 mission that features a mock Ubisoft marketing director worrying that this trailer will leak after what happened to the past few Assassin’s Creed games. It’s all very meta.
Ubisoft has not responded to a request for comment.