October 18, 2013
Watch Dogs, The Crew Delayed Until 2014
Ubisoft has delayed their upcoming titles Watch Dogs and The Crew just a month before both games were due for release on current generation consoles and PC. Those of you who’ve already preordered Watch Dogs will have to wait until their first fiscal 2014 quarter, which is between April 1st and June 30th, while The Crew will be released in the second fiscal quarter between July 1st and September 30th.
The developer posted a lengthy statement on the Ubisoft Blog, explaining their position on the sudden delay.
“Our ambition from the start with Watch Dogs has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming. It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until spring 2014.
We know a lot of you are probably wondering, why now? We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.”
Many website commenters have already blamed Ubisoft’s so called ‘Shady Business Practices’ as the culprit for delaying both games so closely to their release. As far as I can tell, ‘Shady Business Practices’ usually lie around the developer trying to maximize their profits by adjusting the launch window of their games to better avoid some unwanted competition.
Grand Theft Auto V comes to mind when I think about competition, but I think Ubisoft is trying not to shoot themselves in the foot.
Ubisoft has dominated the free roam genre of video games with Assassin’s Creed since the original game’s reception in 2007. In this way, introducing a new free roam game such as Watch Dogs to the games industry will only cause some conflict within Ubisoft’s own product lineup. Why release a new free roam IP in the face of your most ambitious title?
On the surface, this is a matter of proper game launch coordination. In my opinion however, Ubisoft didn’t fully anticipate the success of Grand Theft Auto V before announcing last year that Watch Dogs would be released in 2013. It just doesn’t make since that they’re getting cold feet about their game’s quality when they could have pulled the plug months ago.
I wish I didn’t have to mention Watch Dogs’ rival in the same blog, but it’s the only reasonable explanation for such a delay.
Ubisoft continued with a heartfelt thanks to their loyal fans, “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the way you respond on the web, at events, press conferences and other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion keeps us motivated.
We can’t wait to see you in Chicago next spring. We are confident you’ll love this game as much as we love working on it.”
After seeing Total War Rome 2’s disastrous launch, a delayed game release is welcomed by me.
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