Host Geoff Keighley asked the panel of guests, which included Pachter, Jeff Cannata of DLC, and Michael McWhertor of Polygon, if there were games that publishers were betting big on that didn't deliver, to which Pachter responded,
You know, I gotta say, and I mean this as a compliment, I think Ubisoft probably had one of those in Watch Dogs and decided to hold it off and get it right,
And so I admire them. Their stock got hammered, their management got criticized, and that franchise matters, it's important, it sounds really good, and if it doesn't work it's a big waste of time and waste of money.
Ubisoft did indeed take a massive hit on their stock in mid-October, falling from 11.09 on October 15, to a staggering 8.19 on October 16th, following the release that both Watch Dogs and The Crew were getting pushed back to mid 2014. The release stated that both titles would come out in the company's first fiscal quarter, which starts April 1, 2014, and ends on June 30th, 2014.
Pachter ended saying,
So I'm hopeful that six month delay makes that game great, but I think it was headed for disaster.
Pachter didn't go into detail or any insider knowledge regarding the title or any behind the scenes drama associated with it or Ubisoft. The only comments officially coming out of Ubisoft regarding the delays were the releases associated with the announcement back on October 15th. Ubisoft simply said that they would never "comprimise on quality" and therefore were very confident about delaying the titles until they were ready.
With the deluge of titles experiencing launch troubles, including EA's Battlefield 4 and SimCity, it isn't surprising that such a large developer wants to ensure a smooth launch for one of their biggest titles of the year, especially if they plan to continue the franchise.
Watch Dogs still does not currently have a solid release date, but is planned for early-mid 2014 for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. It is currently available for preorder on the game's website.