Hotly anticipated as a day one launch title for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, UbiSoft’s near-future open world title Watch_Dogs has been delayed until 2014. The move puts the game back at least five months to at least an April 2014 window.
You may recall that it was Watch_Dogs that initially spurred the early rumors of next generation consoles being in development as much of the technology shown in its initial demo at E3 2012 where beyond the capability of current consoles. The game has slunk back in the gaming hype this fall, despite UbiSoft prepping the game as the next big open world game, so a delay isn’t terribly surprising.
Personally, I found Watch_Dogs to be an intriguing title, but one that didn’t show me enough through its development process. With UbiSoft splitting development resources on versions across six platforms, it seemed to lack a special spark that would crown it worthy of being a next-gen title. The game has certainly shown glimmers of being a memorable game but its uninteresting story and rough looking current generation versions has me wary. Consider also that current generation open world games like Grand Theft Auto V and Saints Row IV have been stellar and UbiSoft was right to take the time to develop Watch_Dogs. Hopefully with a little more time to polish the game for a lonelier launch in the spring, Watch_Dogs can develop into something special.
While UbiSoft has certainly shown the ability to hold major releases in tight windows, Watch_Dogs November launch would put it squarely between UbiSoft’s other major releases of Assassin’s Creed IV and South Park: The Stick of Truth. At the very least, moving Watch_Dogs away from these releases prevents the cannibalization of their own sales.
It hasn’t been a great week of news for UbiSoft. The French company announced that both Rayman Legends and Splinter Cell Blacklist fell short of sales expectations along with the delay of next generation racing game, The Crew.