Watch Dogs Delayed, New Window Spring 2014
A whole bunch of gamers are likely going to get a bit bummed out now. The official Ubisoft blog has just announced that their ambitious open-world hack-o-rama has been delayed until spring of 2014.
"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."
Frankly, I don't find this very surprising. The fact that we haven't seen all that much of the typical just-before-release gameplay footage (or marketing in general) of Watch Dogs as we would expect from such a big budget game, indicates that the game might well be far from complete at this point.
However, I think there's more to it than just the game needing polish. The enormous success of Grand Theft Aauto 5 - something Ubisoft have clearly noticed - might well have a big role to play in Ubisoft's decision to delay Watch Dogs as well. GTA 5's popularity seems to never end, and with the recent release of its (arguably troubled) online component, the game earns the right to life for quite a bit longer, too.
Another good argument for delaying Watch Dogs, is Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. The PC and next-gen console release of Black Flag is in Watch Dogs' old release window of November/December, which means this well-established franchise could well end up overshadowing Watch Dogs if they were both released at the same time. Either that or the two games would split the market, forcing a lot of people to choose one of the two. In either situation, Ubisoft would end up losing.
Because of all these circumstances, delaying Watch Dogs seems not only logical, but even reasonable at this point. It's disappointing to find out that we're not getting our mitts on the game this winter, but in the end it's clear that Ubisoft made the right decision. In the end, everyone's a winner with this delay.