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 Watch Dogs  delay leaves big gap in Ubisoft's holiday lineup
Watch Dogs delay leaves big gap in Ubisoft's holiday lineup
October 15, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

October 15, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
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More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



With two of its major upcoming titles -- Watch Dogs and The Crew -- pushed back to at least April 2014, Ubisoft announced today that it is adjusting its sales projections for the current fiscal year, ending in March.

The delay of Watch Dogs in particular means that the game is missing the major holiday shopping season. But the company is confident the move will pay off in the long run.

"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," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated in conjunction with the announcement.

"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," he said.

The delay leaves this month's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag as Ubisoft's biggest release for the holiday quarter.

The major impact that the publisher expects Watch Dogs to have on its financials is evident in the sales adjustment. Ubisoft now places its sales projections for the current financial period as between 995 million and 1,045 million ($1.3-1.4 billion U.S.), down from a previous target of 1,420-1450 million ($1.91-1.95 billion U.S.).

Watch Dogs was originally scheduled to hit North American shelves on November 19th of this year, timed amidst the launches of Sony and Microsoft's competing next generation consoles. The Crew, which is also affected by the delay, was due for early 2014.


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Comments


George Menhal III
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For this and other reasons, I am considering cancelling my PS4 preorder. My two launch games were going to be Killzone: Shadow Fall and Watch_Dogs. Now that one of my launch games has been delayed, I will probably just wait until the next holiday season before making a purchase.

Plus, there are so many good games that are set to release for nearly every platform, that I don't think I will be missing all that much. Killzone is cool, but it can wait. In one day alone, I am picking up Super Mario 3D World, Tearaway, and A Link Between Worlds. My 3DS in general is one of the most backlogged systems I have ever owned. I spent so much time this year playing Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei IV that I have missed some really great stuff, including Luigi's Mansion and now Pokemon X & Y.

And I'm definitely interested in picking up the special edition 3DS XL that was announced for Europe today. The nanosecond that gold 3DS XL is announced for NA, I will have it bought and paid for :-)

Kujel s
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Yeah cancel your pre-order and focus on your backlog, by the sounds of it you have plenty to play for quite a while.

Dane MacMahon
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As a PC gamer there's really nothing even announced yet that would get me to buy a new console. Killzone is the closest thing, but it's not gonna sell a PS4 by itself and I generally dislike shooters on an analog stick anyway.

Hopefully next holiday has a lot better exclusive lineup.

Chris Dunson
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I hear you good sir. Fire Emblem Awakening was far more enjoyable than I expected it to be. I still need to get Luigi's Mansion, but I'm currently preoccupied with Poke'mon Y.

I also plan on picking up Super Mario 3D World, but I haven't yet gotten my hands on Pikmin 3. Nintendo has been pretty attractive to me as of late.

George Menhal III
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Pikmin 3 is my #1 Wii U game as the library currently stands. Please don't delay playing such an original, refined game.

Kevin Clough
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The silver lining here is that this will help spread out the games so we don't have a post-launch drought. I would rather have the game delayed and get a better game than to have it rushed.

Merc Hoffner
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Exactly, I think this'll probably be beneficial all round. Ubisoft may very well capitalize both on that inevitable drought, and their marketing momentum taking advantage of a more established install base. Moreover, since 2011 I think it's fair to say that Ubisoft have been swinging hard to set the pace for the state and direction of the industry - better that their hopeful trendsetters are polished and afforded their own time in the sun, rather than rushed out to squeeze in for the smallest remaining holiday consumer dollars since 2006 under the distracting glare of new hardware.

Dane MacMahon
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I tip my hat to them for having the guts to delay this so close to launch, especially since it was a next-gen highlight. Really impressed they took that step... the quality issue must have been pretty serious.

Andreas Ahlborn
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Irony, I guess?

Ubisoft is starting to get a track record with delaying overly ambitious games. Its `gotten to the point where I am tempted to create a special Ubisoft Timezone (UBI +3) where all Dates Ubisoft releases are automatically incremented with 3 months.

Jennis Kartens
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And yet, they constantly fail to live up to their pre-2005 quality... wonder how much Watch Dogs will be a guided Assassins Creed for people who never played a game in their lifetime.

Frank Moolah
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Rayman was an Omen for more to come lol.

Kaitlyn Kaid
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A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad. - Shigeru Miyamoto

Andreas Ahlborn
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Actually, the situation for Ubisoft is much worse than this blog suggests:

Splinter Cell Blacklist pretty much bombed at the market.
http://www.vgchartz.com/game/70785/tom-clancys-splinter-cell-blac
klist/
it is even outsold by the most hated entry in the series (Double agent)
http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=+splinter+cell&publisher=175
0&platform=&genre=&minSales=0&results=200

If you crunch the numbers given above they expected nothing less than 10 million sales with watchdogs.
The same figure (10 million) will be expected for Black Flag. If it doesn`t deliver this delay could turn out to be their personal Watchgate.

From what I`ve seen of The Division they are also in danger with these two New IPs to cannibalize themselves, since the gameplay/setting seem very similar.

George Menhal III
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Splinter Cell should never have been projected to earn a great profit.

As for Rayman Legends, Ubisoft released a GREAT game, but they picked up tons of bad press back in February when they delayed the game for the purposes of porting it to other platforms. On top of this, Ubisoft had the arrogance to believe that releasing the game only a week in advance of GTA V would be an okay decision.

So ultimately, Ubisoft set itself up for failure from the very beginning. However, Rayman Legends was a tremendously good game and it will most likely continue to sell once the ruckus of the holiday season dies down. Assassin's Creed 4 will probably earn a ton of cash for the company, and even more polish towards a more refined Watch_Dogs will move the sales needle even higher. Ubisoft is not in trouble.

Marc Schaerer
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I'm pretty sure that Ubisoft also delayed the releases because of the platforms themself.

The xbox one will not launch in many countries and where it launches it will do so with inacceptable numbers.
Sony is currently lying to many, pretending to launch in many countries but they cut back the delivery to many countries to a degree where it is not launching there in reality either. I for example had a preorder at the biggest game retailer here in switzerland. They yesterday were told, despite having been 'granted' to take countless preorders' that they will get 3 PS4 for launch and another 3 PS4 until the end of 2013 - I doubt that requires any further comment on the scale of sonys scheme.

So in short, there will be no next generation consoles in 2013 (I'm willing to blame it on AMDs incapability to product in time and quantity here. selling the same crap twice for the same launch month can't work out, not even if they hadn't sold of GlobalFoundry) and Ubisoft is smart enough to realize that they need the next generation to be there if they want to make back the investment. That a few million consoles worldwide will just and plain simply not cut it.

We shall see how many others are going to delay their launches until the consoles actually shipped in numbers that don't pale against even a WiiU as a last minute resort, required because Sony played this shady game of not properly announcing that they have no hardware to send to market in the numbers they pretended and hyped to have when Microsoft shot their leg earlier this year delaying the XBox One launch in many places.

Andreas Ahlborn
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Deleted

A W
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I'm planing to get this for the Wii U.

At first I was confused and upset about the game being delayed, but after refection about the decision, I can see why its a smart choice. There are a lot of games coming out including high profile console launches. They got one game in the space, why gamble with more.

Though it is a good decision, I don't however think their statements bode well for anyone that was planing to get this game on the PS3 or the Xbox360. I honestly believe those versions are going to get canned given the new launch window for this game.

George Menhal III
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I'm a big Nintendo fan, so I'm not trolling here...

May I ask why you plan to pick up the game for Wii U? You're the first person so far that I've seen say such a thing. I own a Wii U, but even I wouldn't expect a game like Watch Dogs to run well on that system. In a lot of cases thus far, multiplatform titles are running better on 360 and PS3 than they are on Wii U! It's a shame, but it's also reality.

The dominant version of Watch Dogs will, of course, be the PC version. However, I am planning to get the game for PS4, because I am specifically curious to see how well the next-gen machines can run games of this kind.

Leon T
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I don't know why AW wanted to get the game on the Wii U , but the gamepad fits the game pretty well. Plus even though the Wii U hasn't been getting the best ports even Splinter Cell and the other third party games felt nice to play on it.Plus Ubisoft has been using the gamepad better than just about everyone.

Leon T
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I can understand delaying the game to improve it, but these last minute delays by Ubisoft are annoying. First Rayman and now this. The delay for Rayman didn't help it at all even though the game is great. I hope Watch Dogs does better. It should since it launching in what looks like the drought period for games next year.


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