Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs has been one of the most anticipated games of 2013. The buzz surrounding the title has been palpable since its E3 debut, but now as it turns out, Ubisoft has made the difficult decision to delay all versions of Watch_Dogs until Spring 2014.
A representative for the development team at Ubi sent the following statement:
"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 every 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 during other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion is what drives us. 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."
In a separate press release, the French publisher also noted that it's pushing back its open-world racing game The Crew (PC, Xbox One, PS4) into the 2014-15 fiscal year; this delay combined with the Watch_Dogs delay is going to take a toll on Ubi's fiscal outlook.
The company said it's now targeting sales of between 995 million and 1.045 billion euros (down from 1.42 to 1.45 billion euros). It's also expecting a non-IFRS operating loss of between 70 million and 40 million euros, as compared to the previous projection of non-IFRS operating income of between 110 million and 125 million euros.
"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. We are convinced that, longer term, they will prove to be the right decisions both in terms of satisfaction for our fans and in terms of value creation for our shareholders. We are building franchises that will become perennial pillars of Ubisoft's financial 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" stated Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot.
"Fueled by strong momentum for PlayStation 4 and XboxOne, calendar 2014 will see the return of growth to the console market. Combined with the quality of our line-up and our strong financial situation, this growth will allow us to achieve record operating income in fiscal 2014-15 and 2015-16."