‘Watch Dogs’ Release Delayed Until Spring 2014

Oct 15, 2013 by  

'Watch Dogs' - Aiden Pearce with face mask

Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world hacker vigilante game Watch Dogs├é┬ásounds like a very ambitious endeavor. As protagonist Aiden Pearce, players can explore an alternate version of Chicago where just about anything that uses the central operation system (ctOS) – be it ATMs, cars, traffic lights, phones, laptops, security cameras or keypads – can be hacked, and Aiden can use his hacking skills to learn basic information about anyone who passes him in the street. This means that he spends much of the time looking at his smartphone, so he probably ends up walking into a lot of lampposts.

Hacking isn’t a new element in gaming, of course, but it’s usually relegated to minigames like the “Pipe Dream” hacking mechanism in BioShock. In Watch Dogs the hacking will be the most prominent gameplay mechanic and the most powerful weapon that Aiden has against both criminals and cops, with shooting and car-stealing taking something of a back seat. However, since computers in the real world experience bugs and glitches, fictional computer systems within a game being played on a real computer system are twice as susceptible to glitches – that’s just science.

Therefore, as a means of ironing out the rough edges of Watch Dogs and ensuring that the game runs properly in release, Ubisoft has released a statement explaining that Watch Dogs has now been delayed until spring 2014. Written by the Watch Dogs development teams, the statement explains:

“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.”

Watch Dogs Next-Gen Pre Orders

While this might be disappointing for those who were looking forward to playing Watch Dogs soon, the developers do offer some decent justification for it. Anyone’s who’s ever bought a game on day one only to find it full of bugs, glitches and unfinished elements knows how badly this can spoil a first playthrough, and holding off on the release is probably a lot better than the “ship now, patch later” approach. Now that the developers have been given a few extra months to work on polishing and fine-tuning, however, Watch Dogs had better run smoothly when it finally arrives.

There are other factors that probably bolstered Ubisoft’s decision to delay. As the first game in a planned franchise and a next-gen launch title, Watch Dogs needs to sell a lot of units in order to strongly establish the new property, and its former release date would have meant competing with Ubisoft’s other upcoming sandbox game, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The Assassin’s Creed series is actually a good cautionary example of why Watch Dogs‘ extra months in development could be a positive sign, as Assassin’s Creed III in particular felt a little unfinished when it was rushed out only a year after Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

Tell us in the comments if you think the delay is justified, or if you think that Ubisoft should have pulled Watch Dogs together in time for the original November release date.

Watch Dogs will be available for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in spring 2014.

12 Comments

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  1. What about the people that already preordered the Watch Dogs PS4 or Xbox One Bundle!? This is going to totally screw them over and not only that Ubisoft should have already had this prepared in advance. This is absolutely ridiculous just to pull it so late one month ahead before it’s scheduled release for a major next-gen title if they were planning to do so they should have announced it way back. All the advertisement and build up just for nothing. Ubisoft was clearly not prepared at all and I hate when gaming companies pull this stunt. They have had months and years to prepare for this moment what did they just send their employees home early!? Absolutely mind blowing….

    • Be considerate, plus a few weeks or a month more is fine, advertisement wasnt built up for nothing, it did its purpose, it gave the game publicity. As for “announcing it back” and being prepared and having game companies “pull this stunt”, try game development and see if you dont encounter bugs or need to redesign or tweak features, coding, etc. Plus, I’d rather have a better game if it means waiting a few months.

      P.S. Its not mindblowing, its caring about gamers, the experience of the game, and employees.

  2. Da fuq dude

  3. i bet they’re delaying b/c of all the big games coming out these next few months – they’re going to hide behind cover and play it safe so they can maximise profits by releasing it when there’s is less competition. as it stands it would have had to compete with CoD, BF$, lego marvel and a couple of other big hitters.

    i’m fine with the wait b/c it gives me time to play the 5 or so other games i have lined up for my 3 months college break during christams :P

  4. If there’s anything Star Citizen has taught us, it is that gamers want quality and they are willing to pay for it. It’s a shame the release was delayed, but an improved experience is well worth the extra wait.

    • True.

  5. I guess 5 months is enough time to visit Lost Santos. lol

  6. I blame rockstar grand theft auto 5 for this. They probably saw how gta5 gross and sales and realized if they released too close to gta5 many gamers might not buy it. I personally, don’t have gta 5 yet, but I look forward to Watch Dogs much more because of it’s story and innovation. Making hacking the “main” thing in the game, not the driving or gunplay. Something the game industry lacks. I think Watch Dogs has something more to say than GTA 5. It has a much more better, timely and siginificant message to say to us, especially during the information age we live in.

  7. I see no issue with waiting for tune ups. In an endeavor like this one, the best thing a development team can do is make a fantastic first impression. In regards to ACIII, the best part was petting animals. Honestly. That game was unfinished to the point that it left a nasty look on my face once I finished it. They are looking out for quality control. The biggest impact comes from the smallest details.

    Should they have budgeted their time better? Maybe a more strict timetable much like Bondi for LA Noire? Or cut back on other features to save for a DLC just so they can make the time frame? The answer: Perhaps. They are sticking to their convictions, or it could be blowing smoke up the consumers @$$es. Either way, they cornered themselves by admitting that they need more time. Now this game needs to be 99.84% bug free. Almost perfect.

    There are other games to play until they decided to release it to the public. And no matter when that time will be, I’m getting it. Good on them to make it worth my time.

  8. Man should i cancell my ps4 order?

  9. This is like G.I. Joe: Retaliation all over again!

  10. Ah crap. That was the one game I had pre-ordered for the PS4. I guess Ill have to grab a different one. I’m really glad I decided to order the game seperate. Hmmm, now what other gorgeous next gen game will I get?

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