Ubisoft today confirmed its open-world game Watch Dogs delayed until spring 2014, pushing it back at least five months from its original November release date. News of the Watch Dogs delay is the most shocking info to hit the gaming news wire since Don Mattrick left Microsoft to head Zynga. Ubisoft’s fantastic-looking game was originally scheduled to ship alongside the PS4 and Xbox One, with a PS4 Watch Dogs bundle being one of the most-popular such bundles available from Amazon.
Speaking of those PS4 bundles, an Ubisoft representative told GameSpot, “Our partnership with Sony remains strong and we will have more details to share about the specific benefits of this partnership for PlayStation customers at a later date.” The statement came from an Ubisoft rep in the UK, but the bundle had been offered in North America as well, so it’s certainly something Ubisoft will address. We’ll have more in that regard as we learn it.
Hearing that Watch Dogs delayed until Spring arguably puts a damper on the next-gen gaming scene this holiday season. Initial impressions of the game seemed decent, but it wasn’t until E3 this year and Ubisoft’s end-of-demo multiplayer reveal that enthusiasm for Watch Dogs really took off.
In addition to announcing Watch Dogs delayed by several months, Ubisoft also said its next-gen racing game The Crew has also been delayed. The Crew did not receive a specific updated release date, but Ubisoft has pushed it into its next fiscal year. That means The Crew release date will occur sometime after April 1, 2014. Our guess is it will hit the PS4, Xbox One and other platforms in May, to avoid being overshadowed by E3 2014 buzz in June.
Speaking about determining whether to push back The Crew and decide that Watch Dogs delayed until 2014 was a good idea, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said “Our long-term goal is to win the next generation. The tough decisions we are taking today to fully realize the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance. … In a context of growing successes for mega-blockbusters, the additional time given to the development of our titles will allow them to fulfill their huge ambitions and thus offer players even more exceptional experiences.”
Does hearing Watch Dogs delayed until spring 2014 make you less excited about the next-gen consoles? How about Ubisoft’s decision to push back The Crew? It’s an interesting reminder about how two new consoles, the Xbox One and PS4, can be affected by the decision of a third-party publisher. At least this time the delays affect both systems, putting them on equal footing. Sound off in the comments below.