Watch Dogs and The Crew delayed, Ubisoft set to make operating loss

Date Posted Author
15th October 2013 Matt Bailey

Two of Ubisoft's high-profile next-generation games have today received delays, with Watch Dogs and The Crew now set to arrive in 'Q2 2014' (April to June) and 'Q3 2014' (July to September) respectively.

"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. It is with this in mind that we've made the tough decision to delay the release until spring 2014" said Ubisoft on their official blog, although the timing does seem strange. The game was due to ship as a launch title for both the Xbox One and the PS4, with PS3, PC, Wii U and Xbox 360 releases on the 22nd November. With only 5 weeks until that date the game has been pushed back several months, and it's not a decision Ubisoft will have taken lightly. Watch Dogs had the makings of a big hit this Christmas, although GTA V's continued run of success does question whether it's the right time to release another big open-world action game.

Having said that, Assassin's Creed IV, Ubisoft's other big open-world action game, is still due to arrive on the 29th October for the PS3 and 360 - although that date is actually 3 days earlier than previously announced for Europe so that the date is now the same worldwide. It'll be arriving on the PC, Wii U and both the Xbox One and the PS4 (despite the latter not being out until a week later) on the 22nd November.

The Crew, meanwhile, was always due a little later than launch, having previously been pegged in as the first half of 2014, it's now due later, with 'Q3' the likely target, but it could end up being part of next Christmas' rush. Watch Dogs was looking in good shape when we saw it at Gamescom - but we only saw it being played in front of us - while The Crew, which we did get hands-on time with, felt like it needed a lot more work to get the cars feeling right, but the open-world chases were enjoyable.

The delays are said to have left a big hole in Ubisoft's financial plans for 2013/4. Financial news organisation Bloomberg are reporting that it will result in Ubisoft incurring a full year operating loss of between 40 million and 70 million Euros. They had previously forecasted a profit of about 125 million Euros, but do expect to make 160 million Euros in the 2014/5 year as a result of the delays. "We made a choice that will pay off in the long run," Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot said in an interview. "The market has changed -- we need huge blockbusters, and that means making very high-quality games."

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