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New information from Ubisoft explains why 'Watch Dogs' was delayed

Excited for Watch Dogs?
Excited for Watch Dogs?

It was probably one of the biggest shocks to players when Ubisoft announced Watch Dogs would be delayed back in October of last year, and today we have new details about why that was.

Ubisoft didn't share too much information about why the delay took place last year, but Dominic Guay did divulge new information about why it happened and the benefits consumers will get out of it.

"I’ll move back a little. When we announced a date, it was because we thought we would be done by then, and not because someone said, That’s when you’re shipping because that’s when we need it financially, so cut the game and make it happen. It was never that. It was, This is the game you guys want to make; that’s the game we want you to make.

"We looked at it together with Ubisoft HQ. We thought we’d be done for Christmas. Everyone agreed. And that’s when we announced the date. And for quite a while, it really looked like we’d make it. We had the game playable front-to-back in spring [2013], which meant we had like five, six months ahead of us to iterate and debug, which is more time than a lot of games need. But because we are a new IP, a new game experience, that wasn’t the case. We needed that time and we needed more.

"When we got close to the end, we still could have shipped. That’s why it’s hard. It was not like we were failing miserably, the game didn’t work, or it couldn’t be played! We’d been playing this game from front to back for so long it really looked like this would happen. But when you iterate on a game and you make a change, look at what it impacts, make another change, it takes time. It’s really hard to predict how much time that’s going to take.

"The good news is when HQ and the studio management here looked at the game, they understood what we’re trying to do with Watch Dogs and they agreed. They said: We understand, we see the same thing as you, you guys need more time. They agreed to it. I don’t know if I’m going to get that luxury every time I ship a game, but in this case it really was beneficial. It was really what we needed to ship the game we wanted to ship," Guay said.

While delays are always the hardest thing to swallow, especially when it's a big game people want to get their hands-on. Developers want to launch it and consumers want it launched, it's a two-way street.

That said, kudos to Ubisoft and company for having the foresight and honesty to be able to say, "this game isn't ready." It's a difficult thing to delay a game, especially when marketing and development dollars have already been invested in its initial launch.

Being able to be humble and say to fans, "we need more time," is not an easy thing to do and is something we don't always see from publishers. May 27th will be a delay nearly two years in the making and consumers will surely get the best product possible.

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