Ubisoft explains why Watch Dogs on PC contains hidden graphics files

"Deactivated for a variety of reasons."

Ubisoft has issued an explanation for why the PC version of Watch Dogs includes unused graphical options within its files.

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The options, discovered by modders earlier this week, were quickly made available for PC users to apply themselves - most notably via a mod by user TheWorse.

Changes introduced by the patch affect the game's depth of field, dynamic lighting, shadows and more.

Many users felt the game's visuals were improved by the mod, although some also reported that performance suffered slightly as a result.

This is largely the gist of Ubisoft's response, posted last night on the Watch Dogs official site, which is laid out in full below.

"The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we've set out to achieve," Ubisoft wrote. "We test and optimise our games for each platform on which they're released, striving for the best possible quality.

"The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused render settings that were deactivated for a variety of reasons, including possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality.

"Modders are usually creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) subjectively enhances the game's visual fidelity in certain situations but also can have various negative impacts. Those could range from performance issues, to difficulty in reading the environment in order to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less enjoyable or even unstable.

"Thanks for playing Watch Dogs and stay safe on the mean streets of Chicago."

Was there really a Watch Dogs graphics downgrade from the game's E3 2012 reveal? Digital Foundry recently investigated the claim and examined all the evidence.

Take a look at some Watch Dogs gameplay footage with TheWorse mod applied below:

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