Watch Dogs has been delayed into spring 2014, Ubisoft announced today, along with a delay for The Crew, it's open-world racer. Due to the delays, the firm has revised its financial expectations for fiscal year 2014.
Watch Dogs and The Crew delayed
The Watch Dogs delay includes all versions, per the following statement from the Watch Dogs team:
“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.
"We know a lot of you are probably wondering ‘why now?’ We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune every detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the way you respond on the web, at events, press conferences and during other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion is what drives us.
"We can’t wait to see you in Chicago next Spring. We are confident you’ll love this game as much as we love working on it.”
Watch Dogs was originally announced for a November 19 release in the States, and a November 22 release across Europe on PC, PS3, PS4 Wii U and Xbox 360.
Amazon and GameStop will both still honor next-gen pre-order bundles, the retailers said in separate statements.
The original release date for Xbox One was November 22 worldwide and on PlayStation 4 November 29 in Europe.
Meanwhile, The Crew was previously planned for release in fiscal year 2013-14, and is now scheduled for fiscal year 2014-15, meaning it may not see a release until April 2014 at the earliest.
Developed by Ivory Tower, The Crew is an open-world racer originally slated for release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in early 2014.
Ubisoft has told Kotaku in a statement it hopes those who "pre-ordered the game will still look forward to playing it in spring 2014," and that the "extra polish and quality" will add to the game play experience.
Meanwhile, Sony has told CVG it is working "very closely" with both Ubisoft and its retail partners regarding the Watch Dogs PS4 bundle in the UK.
Amazon has said it plans to honor all Watch Dogs bundles this November, but it's unknown at this time what game, if any, will be included with the console. The retailer said to stay tuned for more updates.
GameStop has said it too will be honoring the pre-order bundles, and will be contacting customers who had either the PS4 or Xbox One versions pre-ordered. Our local store told us customers can either choose a different bundle - which may have a price difference - or they can keep their current order, get their console at release, and then pick up or receive their pre-ordered copy of Watch Dogs upon its release.
Changes to financial targets
Due to delays, Ubisoft has revised its financial targets for 2013-14 and now expects sales of between €995 million and €1.045 billion compared to the prior target of between €1.420 billion and €1.450 billion.
The delays could see Ubisoft losing fiscal revenue of $560 million, which would result in a loss of around $88 million.
"Our long term goal is to win the next generation," stated Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot in the press release. "The tough decisions we are taking today to fully realize the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance.
"We are convinced that, longer term, they will prove to be the right decisions both in terms of satisfaction for our fans and in terms of value creation for our shareholders.
"We are building franchises that will become perennial pillars of Ubisoft’s financial performance. In a context of growing successes for mega-blockbusters, the additional time given to the development of our titles will allow them to fulfill their huge ambitions and thus offer players even more exceptional experiences.
"Fueled by strong momentum for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, calendar 2014 will see the return of growth to the console market. Combined with the quality of our line-up and our strong financial situation, this growth will allow us to achieve record operating income in fiscal 2014-15 and 2015-16."
Based on the information at Ubisoft’s disposal today, sales for the second quarter of 2013-14 should exceed €210 million.
Final first half earnings will be released on November 12, 2013.