"Our ambition from the start with 'Watch Dogs' has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming," said Gary Steinman, communications manager. "It is with this in mind that we've made the tough decision to delay the release until spring 2014."
Delays of major Ubisoft titles are nothing new at this point. Aside from its cash cow "Assassin's Creed" and "Just Dance" franchises, the publisher rarely -- if ever -- releases a game on its originally announced date. "Rayman Legends" was delayed -- while already completed on the Wii U -- from a February release to Aug. 29, two weeks from "Grand Theft Auto V." "Splinter Cell Blacklist" was delayed from an anticipated 2012 release to a similar August time frame. "Rainbow 6: Patriots" was originally announced for 2012, and has since disappeared in a similar manner to "Splinter Cell Conviction," before it resurfaced as a shadow of its former self.
How "Watch Dogs" will emerge from this remains to be seen. It was originally set to launch alongside "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag," which is already going to be a guaranteed hit. The move might give Ubisoft some space with its titles, but quality of its delayed releases has been historically subjective, at best.
For its part, Ubisoft insists the delay was merely for quality control reasons, and doesn't anticipate further delays.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you," Steinman said. "We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the way you respond on the web, at events, press conferences and other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion keeps us motivated."