One of the most anticipated titles announced at E3 was Watch Dogs. Every two weeks or so, the developers at Ubisoft have leaked a bit more information to the masses, including a website, real-time gameplay clips, trailers and more. It felt like the holiday season could have been saved from the unimpressive new consoles with a great title like this. Unfortunately, Watch Dogs will now be pushed back to the first quarter of 2014.
Citing unexpected bumps in the road and some minor setbacks, the Watch Dogs team said that "In a world of mega-blockbusters we have come to the conclusion that the team needed more time to realize the game's potential. We consider it to be a long term pillar of our future performance, alongside the likes of Assassin's Creed and Far Cry."
That's a pretty big statement for a brand new franchise. The team might have felt like the game was not going to be ready for a while, but was putting off the official message until they knew for sure that it wasn't going to happen in time for holiday season and the new console launches.
Here's the message directly from Ubisoft.
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.
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.
Ubisoft's Communications Manager, Gary Steinman, has been very active and upfront about the decision in the blog this week. Fans have been asking questions and he's been answering. Steinman also reiterating the points above by replying directly to a user with, "The team has been working really hard to deliver a really ambitious game within the original timeframe. We tested the game until the very last minute in order to make the most informed decision."
Obviously a lot of disgruntled fans have come out of the woodwork to berate and demean the product, claiming that many have pre-ordered the game and now that Ubisoft has the consumers' money, the game won't come out. However, in the real world, things like push-backs and delays happen all the time. On the other side of it, the game could've been released for the holidays, most likely it would have been buggy or broken, and fans would've complained there, too. Luckily, Steinman and the Ubisoft team have not given in to the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" fans and have stuck to the spring 2014 timeline. Hopefully we'll see some more news leading up to the new release date, including some notes on what was refined or fixed. This should at least appease the fan who is just upset that he or she can't play potentially the greatest new IP to hit a next-gen console since Halo.