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An interview with a Ubisoft developer - from inside Watch Dogs: Legion's virtual London

Virtual doorstep.

We're used to seeing people interview video game developers on camera. Hundreds are pumped out of E3 every year. This one, though, is a little different.

A BBC reporter travelled to Ubisoft's Toronto studio to interview the chief developer of Watch Dogs: Legion, but rather than sit down with him in a coffee shop, a boardroom or a hotel lobby, he interviewed him inside the game.

BBC Click's Marc Cieslak went through the motion capture process so Ubisoft could recreate him inside Watch Dogs: Legion - and did the same for creative director Clint Hocking - and then created the scene at virtual Piccadilly Circus.

It's a simple idea, of course. Motion capture cutscenes have been around in video games for years, and we're familiar now, I think, with those tight mo cap suits, those special balls, dots on faces and mounted head cameras. But this is the first time I've seen a member of the press interview a developer via the magic of motion and facial capture. I think it's executed pretty well!

As for the interview itself, we don't learn anything new, and Hocking repeats points he's made in previous interviews. But there's a decent answer for the Brexit question, which suggests the developers of Watch Dogs: Legion have some common sense around the politics in games issue.

"Well, I look at is as a creator of culture," Hocking replies when it's put to him that lots of people will be upset that Ubisoft has put Brexit in the game.

"If we were creating films or movies or books, it's the same with video games. It's our responsibility to look at the things that are happening in the world around us and have something to say about that, to create something that's meaningful, that people can look at and engage with, and it speaks to the world that they live in."

While impressed, I also came away from the interview thinking about the future of my profession. Maybe one day someone will be able to create a virtual version of me, powered by AI, so I can interview hundreds of developers across the world all at the same time while I sit at my desk playing World of Warcraft.

What a lovely thought!

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About the Author

Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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