Watch Dogs

May 14, 2015
Ubisoft "Watch Dogs"

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs follows the storyline of a hacker hellbent on revenge through a fictional Chicago in this pulse-pounding techno thriller. Like many modern video games, Watch Dogs includes spinoff content in the gameplay, such as its in-game music discovery app called “Song Sneak.” Players use their character’s mobile device to “steal” music from a passersby, and the more songs one takes, the more music one can listen to while playing.




Tim Lincoln, Music Dealers Creative Director


Kidz In The Hall

Break It Down

Out To Lunch (Instrumental)


Old Lock It Down

Matt Ulery

Scott Free

The Right Now

He Used To Be


Day By Day


Where The Sidewalk Ends

The Challenge

Authentic Music Discovery

Music discovery is a powerful passion point for many Chicagoans, and the abundance of fresh, independent music is one of the city’s great cultural assets. An app like “Song Sneak” was an innovative way to truly engage players with Watch Dogs’ immersive, Chicago-based setting. However, if players were to enjoy this app as fully as Ubisoft anticipated, the songs would have to be worth sneaking. Neither stock tracks, famous music, nor rehashed songs would do.

The Solution

Music Supervision

Based on the real-life app Shazam, Song Sneak included over 50 songs that players could steal and afterwards stream during the gameplay. To flavor that list with authentic up-and-coming music, Ubisoft contracted Music Dealers to provide a curated list of songs from its artist community. MD Creative Director Tim Lincoln reviewed the brief and provided a playlist of diverse songs that fit the sonic identity of the game and embodied the indie sound of Chicago’s soundscape.

The Result

Player Engagement

Music Dealers licensed twelve songs from eleven of its independent artists for Watch Dogs, heightening the music discovery component of the game with real music from genuine emerging artists. This list included JDP, a South Side native and one of URB Magazine’s "Next 100 Artists To Watch For,” as well as The Right Now, a modern blend of jazz, soul, and passion. Players went from searching for these songs in the game to doing so in real life, downloading and purchasing tracks that Watch Dogs originally introduced them to.

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