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Ubisoft Explains the Watch Dogs Delay: It Wasn’t due to GTA V, Game has Been in Development for Nearly 5 Years

October 15, 2013 Written by Jason Dunning

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With the news now out that Watch Dogs will be delayed to Spring 2014 on every system, some people are wondering what happened to make such a big delay happen so close to the originally planned release date (one month from now).

Answering a few of these questions over on the Ubi Blog was Gary Steinman, Communications Manager. First up, he responded to why they took so long before announcing the delay:

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. It’s now clear that we need to allow for this extra time to fully realize our ambition, polish the game and really do it justice.

He then went into further detail about the delay, giving multiple different answers to multiple different people:

“Watch Dogs already has an incredible depth and scope. We won’t compromise on the quality and the experience of Watch Dogs, even if it means our initial timeline proved too ambitious. We want to be the winner on next-gen, which means we need to make bold decisions and create games that will deliver unrivaled innovations. This is why the team is taking extra time to realize their ambitions for the game.”

“We know it feels like a last-minute decision, but we promise it was not a decision made lightly… We tested the game until the very last minute in order to make the most informed decision. It’s now clear that we need to allow for this extra time to fully realize our ambition, polish the game and really do it justice. This is why the team is taking extra time to realize their ambitions for the game.”

“The focus here is on delivering the best possible game and being a leader on the next-gen, rather than releasing the game prematurely. We know there will be some great games at launch (including Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag!), and in the window between launch and release. 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. It’s now clear that we need to allow for this extra time to fully realize our ambition, polish the game and really do it justice. We have high expectations for the next gen, and we want to deliver a game a truly exceptional and memorable game.”

“The game has actually been in development now for nearly half a decade. The whole team is doing an amazing job, and remains committed to the project. Their intention is still to deliver a truly exceptional and memorable game. The game has incredible depth and scope, and we think players will appreciate that even more thanks to the additional time we’re taking to fully realize our ambition and polish the game.”

Next up, he was answered whether they were “scared” by Grand Theft Auto V:

We respect GTAV quite a bit. It’s an incredible game. But this decision doesn’t have anything to do with any other game. The Watch Dogs team started work a few years ago with the vision to build the first truly next-gen new IP, which is a huge undertaking.

We won’t compromise on the quality and the experience of Watch Dogs, even if it means our initial timeline proved too ambitious. Ubisoft’s long-term goal is to be the best developer of next-gen games, and this starts with Watch Dogs. That’s always been the goal, and it remains the goal to this day.

What do you think of Ubisoft’s reasoning for the delay? Let us know in the comments below.

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