The dominoes from Ubisoft’s announcement that they would be postponing the release of Watch Dogs continue to fall as, according to a report today from VG 24/7, the title’s delay could cause a dip in sales for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Lewis Ward, a video game research analyst with IDC, told the BBC that some of the launch hardware sales of the Xbox One and PS4 could be pushed back by the Watch Dogs delay but maintained the postponement was the right move by Ubisoft.
“I think [Watch Dogs] was going to be one of the drivers for initial games-console bundle sales and will probably push back some of the hardware sales that would have happened right out of the gate for Sony and Microsoft,” Ward said. “But absolutely it’s the right decision if there’s something glitchy or there’s some game-balance factor that is off.”
Ubisoft announced the delay in releasing Watch Dogs and The Crew this week in order to polish and refine the final product, and will hit shelves in spring 2014.
"There’s a lot of interconnections between the things you can control in the game and how the story then unfolds, so I can only assume there’s some factor with the incredibly complex open-world gameplay that’s off,” Ward said. “But there’s no reason Ubisoft can’t still deliver what they hoped to do with this game.”
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, the delay was the right thing to do in order to deliver high-quality game and it will “pay off in the long run.”
In the short term, however, Ubisoft has been hurt financially by the decision to postpone Watch Dogs and The Crew.
Yesterday, just a day after the developer announced the delays, Ubisoft saw its share values plummet by roughly 25 percent, as low as 32 percent at one point according to Bloomberg.
The delay, along with some missed sales targets with other titles, will net Ubisoft an estimated $54 million to $95 operating loss for its fiscal year ending in March.