Ubisoft has crossed over one of its Assassin's Creed characters into Watch Dogs, making him the focus of a side mission in the newly released game.
It's the biggest nod yet that the two franchises' universes are connected - something that has already been hinted at in the past.
Spoilers lie below.
The character in question, Olivier Garneau, appears in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag as the CEO of Abstergo Entertainment.
You meet Garneau several times in that game's modern-day section before he mysteriously disappears en route to a shareholders meeting in Chicago - the city where Watch Dogs is set.
The assumption is that Garneau has been kidnapped, possibly by the modern-day Assassin's Brotherhood, but his fate is actually revealed in the Watch Dogs criminal convoy mission "Requiescat In Pace".
In the mission you're tasked with hunting him down and taking him out. The character is still alive at the end of the encounter - but only barely. Scan him with your profiler device and his status reads "Targeted by the Brotherhood".
"This guy's involved in some heavy s*** - patented genomes, genetic memory manipulation, sketchy pharmaceuticals," Aiden Pearce comments, referencing Garneau's employer Abstergo Industries. "All that, fuelled by an unhealthy dose of corporate corruption."
Another Watch Dogs Easter egg sees you spying on a father and son playing Assassin's Creed 2 - a game which in Ubisoft's universe exists as a product of Abstergo Entertainment. The two on-screen characters are seen watching a cut-scene, and Renaissance Assassin hunk Ezio Auditore's voice can be heard.
These latest references return the nod to Watch Dogs included back in Assassin's Creed 4 last year. An email chain found on one of Abstergo Entertainment's computers revealed that the company had been contacted by Blume, the maker of Watch Dogs' CTOS surveillance technology.Why would someone spend five years retranslating all of Final Fantasy 7? Beacause.
But Assassin's Creed writer Darby McDevitt has said multiple times that the games' various nods to each other are simply fun references - and that the two franchises do not operate in a shared world such as Half-Life and Portal.
"[Watch Dogs is its] own game in the Ubiverse," McDevitt wrote on Ubisoft's official AC Initiates forum. "We like to put Easter eggs in our games, but they are not literally connected."
See the Watch Dogs mission starring Olivier Garneau below.