Lead game designer Danny Belanger stated that people who don't want other gamers to just suddenly materialize in their game will be able to simply turn the option off via the settings menu. Polygon quoted the "Watchdogs" designer as saying he and his team tried to make it as easy as possible.
"All the online activities are just part of the menu," Belanger said. "They're a choice. But if someone is not into that ... they can totally turn it off."
The game has also come up with a way to help players avoid being suddenly bombarded with incoming hackers, if they enjoy the online multiplayer mode and want to keep it on.
"There's also something important called the shield. If someone comes into your game, they can't come in right after so you can't be spammed in that way — unless you become aggressive and you start going into other people's games," Belanger added. "Then you really become available. But it's just a player choice in the end."
The designer said that the point of the multiplayer isn't to try and be hamfisted, slamming through barriers as quickly as possible. Instead, the game is supposed to be one that calls for some finesse. Belanger called it a "hide and seek" approach. This viewpoint means you must hack and avoid getting hacked at the same time.
Online multiplayer is obviously a fairly important part of the game, considering Ubisoft built in the ability to have as many as eight gamers roaming the landscape together at the same time.
Now that Ubisoft has announced the official release date as May 27 for most platforms (and slightly later for the Wii U) it seems likely we'll be getting more info on "Watchdogs" darn near every day.