Ubisoft Removes Fourth Of July Fireworks From Watch Dogs 2 After 'Noise Complaints'

Fireworks in Watch Dogs 2, screencap via YouTuber Nate152. Watch his whole video to hear how noisy they were.
Fireworks in Watch Dogs 2, screencap via YouTuber Nate152. Watch his whole video to hear how noisy they were.

A temporary Independence Day celebration in Watch Dogs 2 was suspended early on July 4 because it was enraging too many people who still play Ubisoft’s late 2016 open-world game.


The fireworks had been added to the game as part of the 1.16 title update that also added a four-player party mode. They were set to erupt during the game’s night cycles from June 29 through July 10. On Twitter, they were described by gamers as “completely obnoxious,” “fucking annoying” and “too frequent, too long and too loud.” Someone else said they were scaring their dog.

Initially, Ubisoft defended the fireworks. Three days ago, in reply to a forum thread titled “Annoying Fireworks At night missions,” a Ubisoft community representative noted: “While you may find them loud in-game, they are really loud in real life too! The sound carries over the water and you can hear them all over the Bay!”

By yesterday, Ubisoft yielded. On Reddit, a company rep noted: “The people have spoken and we have carried out their will! There was an annoying bug that snuck into our Independence Day Event that made the sound effects from the fireworks noticeable from everywhere on the map. They have been turned off as to avoid any further noise complaints.”

When Tweeting the news, the official Watch Dogs 2 Twitter account cc’d the outlet Ars Technica, likely because of the publication’s Tuesday morning story headlined “Ubisoft wishes Watch Dogs 2 players a terrible Fourth of July.”

Of course, as fans of whatever pop song you hate can tell you that even the most cacophonous noise has its fans. Sure enough, a Watch Dogs 2 player on the game’s subreddit lamented the firework deletion. The Ubi rep replied: “We liked them too! But when you’re playing the game at night for hours and can’t escape the popping no matter where you are, that’s not a positive experience for the player. It’s not possible to rush a fix for this so we made a tough choice to remove them. The heart says no but the ear drums say yes.”

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It was a nice idea, they just blew the implementation.

With surround sound it sounded like the fireworks were going off right around you (no matter where they were in the game), and it was going off for a full third of the game’s day/night cycle. No f@$ing escape no matter where you were. And they had a very limited number of sounds, so it was the same five seconds of sounds on infinite repeat for 20 real minutes (or whatever the day/night cycle length is, I think it’s about that).

So, a nice idea but terrible implementation, incessantly loud, annoying, and inscapable - it was the perfect way to celebrate America in 2017. ‘Grats, Ubisoft!