Ubisoft “Had No Choice” But to Delay Watch Dogs
One of the most anticipated and hyped up titles in recent memory gained itself a spot of infamy when publisher Ubisoft and the game’s Montreal based development team decided to miss Watch Dogs’ November 2013 release date, instead delaying it a whole six months.
Tony Key, Ubi’s marketing executive, says it was a bitch of a decision to make, and the blow-back was almost immediate. “On the day we announced that, I think our stock dropped 40 percent or some ridiculous number,” Key admitted to the [a]list daily.
The company wasn’t comfortable with the product last November and, despite it being an untested IP, Ubisoft has funneled a huge amount of time, resources, and money into the project, all in the attempt to have Watch Dogs make a name for itself early in the new console cycle.
“We’re a long-term company, with a long-term vision, and Watch Dogs for us is a long-term play,” said Key. “We had no choice. We knew it was the right thing to do, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.”
Watch Dogs’ delay assured that the game would not ride the waves caused by the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One’s media eye-snatching releases, but Key says the move inadvertently led to even more industry wide attention than Ubisoft planned for; preorders, Key says, are up.
Though Watch Dogs has become one of the many poster children for the next-gen wave, the PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and the Wii U (eventually) will all see Aiden Pierce’s tale of Wi-Fi revenge. Watch Dogs releases May 27th, 2014.
Here’s hopin’ the push was worth it. Delays, after all, have given us gold such as the original Batman: Arkham Asylum. On the flipside, delays have also cursed us with games like Aliens: Colonial Marines and Duke Nukem Forever. Perhaps game development can be likened to cooking burgers – you want to heat the paddy until it’s evenly cooked through, but you have to be really mindful that you don’t leave the meat sitting on the grill for ten fucking years. Game devs, take heart.