Tom Clancy's The Division is a next generation game that is being developed by Massive Entertainment and released by Ubisoft. We are featuring a segment this week with Massive Entertainment's Managing Director David Polfeldt. This segment focuses on the commitment to quality that stems from Ubisoft. With Watch Dogs getting delayed, Ubisoft wants to make sure it is a perfect release.
While fans might clamor with the delay of a highly anticipated title, the decision ultimately pays off in the end. Polfeldt agrees with how Ubisoft goes about these decisions, mainly because there are people that have been in the company for so long. These people know what it takes to release successful products even if there are growing pains along the way. Polfeldt goes into detail below on delaying games and incurring costs.
"It’s tremendously important for us as a developer studio, to know that the owner and the publisher are ready to take that hit, and [the Watch Dogs delay] was a massive hit. I think their shares fell 25% on the day it was announced it was being delayed. It takes so much courage to live through that day and still think that was a good decision. So for us in the development [side of things], that’s an important message that ultimately the management will back up the goals that we have, which is the game has to be great.
"That’s ultimately the end goal and then it’s a million times better if it’s on time, but if there is a choice between time and quality, then quality will win. If you look at Ubisoft you see a lot of people who have been in the company for over 20 years and that’s not very common today in corporate landscapes. But I do think that one of the reasons is people believe that ultimately this company has a very positive agenda about putting out good entertainment products and we’re willing to back it up, we’re will to take a few hits and some larger risks to make sure quality is very high.
"Definitely when we go to the internal milestones, we’re constantly being pushed for more innovation, thinking further, what could you do that surprises even ourselves? What are we not doing that we could do? Have you studied the competition? So there’s never a discussion about ‘just get it done guys, hurry up, we have a deadline, and it doesn’t matter if it’s really perfect, just get it done.’
"I’ve never heard that in an internal [meeting], often we come back with a sense of just being challenged all the time, doesn’t matter what we do or how good it is, there’s always a question of, ‘okay great, but what if? Or could you push that further?’ That’s an inspiring environment to me. I have to say I look forward to going to work everyday, and part of that reason is I know they will ask me to outperform myself as often as possible," Polfeldt said.
There are more than enough publishers who rush their games by a deadline, and it is nice to know that Ubisoft does not. They know in the end, a superior product and an established credibility of releases over time will more than make up for any incurred losses. This will allow Tom Clancy's The Division to be a top-notch release once the time comes.