Watch Dogs missed the launch of PS4 and Xbox One, but Ubisoft's North American president Laurent Detoc has stressed that the decision to delay the title wasn't made lightly. He added that had Watch Dogs released on time, it could have been the best-rated launch title on next-gen formats.
It follows Detocs explanation that AWOL shooter Rainbow Six: Patriots wasn't working as intended, and therefore had to be remade. See what he said through the link.
Now, in the same IGN interview, Detoc shed light on the thinking behind Ubisoft's delays. "It's a very intense decision," he explained. "I think one of the fascinating things about this industry is that you can go from genius to idiot in an extremely short time frame.
"These are some of those moments, where you're riding sky high on Watch Dogs or Rayman, and then suddenly you have to break it to the outside world, and sometimes even convince the inside people. Not everybody agrees. You have to say, 'this is in the best interest of the product, to do this,' because at the end of the day we're going to be able to do this extra fine tuning."
On Watch Dogs specifically, Detoc stressed that come gamescom, Ubisoft was certain the game would release on time. "I'll tell you, at Gamescom, everybody was looking each other in the eye thinking we would be there at launch. There were already some lingering doubts, but we were plowing through it. There were more than a thousand people touching that game."
He added, "Then eventually, a month later, we said, 'this is not gonna fly.' Then it takes a few more weeks to decide how we're going to package that news for everyone. It's not just about delaying for the sake of delaying it. No matter how hard we try, we also put out games that are not good quality, unfortunately.
"It's not because we go out and say, 'great, let's make a piece of junk and put it out there.' It's really painful to us. But some games, you just can't make them that much better because of how they've been progressing. Part of the decision to delay Watch Dogs is also that. We know it's not where we want it to be. Can it get there? What will it take to get there? That's why it takes a longer process. But in August we really thought we were going to have that game at launch."
Despite Watch Dogs' delay, Detoc remains confident that the sandbox title will become a hit when it eventually launches, citing the oft-delayed GTA 5 as an example of where a little extra time can go a long way. "I actually believe that Watch Dogs could have ended up being the best-rated game on next gen if it came out at launch," he stated.
"We wanted it to be even higher. The whole package is there already. But without sending them too many flowers, the guys at Rockstar have showed us again that if you make a 96-percent game, people will come.
"Watch Dogs, I can only hope we get to that level. There's an attachment to the brand, in the case of GTA, that makes people really want to give it that 100-percent review. We'll be missing that on Watch Dogs until we go further, potentially. That's what we're after."
Do you think Watch Dogs still has what it takes to become a mega-hit, despite its delay? Let us know what you think below.