Were you hoping to enjoy a little Watch Dogs on your new next-gen console next month? A number of USgamer staffers had the game as their best launch title on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but it seems like early next-gen city hacking isn't in the cards for 2013. Ubisoft has announced that the game has been pushed back to Spring 2014.
"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," the publisher said in a statement.
"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 every detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience."
Ubisoft previously told MCV that preorders for the next-gen versions of Assassin's Creed IV and Watch Dogs were higher than their current-gen counterparts. This could be a huge blow to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launch line-ups, and I certainly don't want to see the fallout at retail. There was a PlayStation 4 Watch Dogs bundle available at GameStop and Amazon, so users who went with that bundle will now have to choose another option or wait. Ubisoft gave Kotaku a non-answer when asked about what will happen to consumers who pre-ordered the bundle.
"We hope that players who have pre-ordered the game will still look forward to playing it in Spring 2014, and that the extra polish and quality we’ll be able to add to the game will ensure a fantastic gaming experience," Ubisoft told Kotaku.
I'm sad, because I was really looking forward to Watch Dogs, but I'm also not inside Ubisoft. Something must not be up to snuff if the publisher is delaying the game this close to its launch. Ubisoft knows that hitting a console launch and the holiday season is important, so whatever the problem is was deemed more important. Hopefully they can fix it in time.
Can the delay be a positive? "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad," is a quote attributed to Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Watch Dogs is one of Ubisoft's new games this gen, instead of being a sequel to an existing title. They need to stick the landing on this because they'd like to carry Watch Dogs forward. Watch Dogs II, Watch Dogs: Revelations, and Watch Dogs: Black Flag are probably already on the company's radar, but that doesn't happen if the first game turns customers away.