Watch Dogs delay surprises players

Watch Dogs was originally scheduled to release on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on Nov. 15.

Watch Dogs was originally scheduled to release on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on Nov. 15.

The highly-anticipated video game Watch Dogs has been delayed until spring 2014 by Ubisoft. The Montreal-based developer announced on its official blog on Oct. 15 (exactly one month away from the release date) that it is delaying Watch Dogs in order to “polish and fine tune each detail.”

Analyst Mike Hickey has a different theory.

“The success of Grand Theft Auto V has put a lot of pressure on Watch Dogs,” said Hickey in an interview with the New York Times. Take-Two Interactive’s blockbuster shattered sales records last month, making over $1 billion in three days.

Given the competitive nature of the industry, it’s not uncommon for developers to push back their games to avoid heavy competition. In 2009, an large number of games were delayed including Red Dead Redemption, Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2, Heavy Rain, God of War 3 and Splinter Cell: Conviction. Many of these delays were supposedly in anticipation of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which went on to break records that year. It’s uncommon however, for a game to be delayed when only one month from release.

Watch Dogs was one the most anticipated games of 2013. According to Ubisoft’s blog, the game won 27 awards at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, including Best Game and Best of Show.

The delay has caused complications for retailers as copies of the game were to be included in special bundles with the upcoming Playstation 4.

While the announcement of the delay has disappointed gamers, fans such as Garrett Dunn are willing to wait the extra months. “I’m kind of happy they decided to put it off a little bit, just so they can ensure the bugs are fixed,” Dunn said.

The delay will also lessen the competition against Ubisoft’s own Assassins’ Creed IV: Black Flag, which is scheduled for release on Oct. 29.

News of the delay resulted in Ubisoft’s shares dropping over 25 per cent in value according to In a press release, Ubisoft revised its sales targets for the fiscal year; it is now expecting an annual loss of at least $55 million.

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