GAMING BLEND

Watch Dogs Was Delayed Due To Stiff Holiday Competition, Says Pachter

By William Usher 2013-10-20 16:09:49 discussion comments
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Wallet share is an important thing heading into the holidays if you're a core gamer. Late October and the entirety of November is where all the hard-hitting AAA blockbuster titles drop; and whether you like the Hollywood style heavy hitters, you have to admit that the holiday season makes it tough deciding which games to buy from some of the biggest software publishers on the market.

Michael Pachter believes that the stiff competition from the big titles from major software publishers is the reason Ubisoft opted to delay Watch Dogs, a game about exercising code-cracking moxy in a digitally controlled society, into an early 2014 release, as opposed to having the hotly anticipated open-world hacktion title release this fall.

According to Wii U Daily, Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael “Pach-Man” Pachter released his own notes about why Ubisoft delayed Watch Dogs, and in some many words, he states what most of us were already thinking: Ubisoft didn't want to cannibalize sales of Watch Dogs...
“We believe that management was also concerned about the strong competition for wallet share Watch Dogs faced at the holidays from Grand Theft Auto V, Battlefield 4, and a new Call of Duty, among others.”

“Given next-gen uncertainty and this very strong slate of competitors, we believe the two aforementioned delays were the right decision.”

I tend to agree with Pachter on this one. If I were a head of business and product management at Ubisoft I would have done the exact same thing. The drop in share price is negligible because they'll shoot back up if Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag manages to sell well. But just think if Watch Dogs suffered out of the gate due to competing with Assassin's Creed and every other major AAA title? Ubisoft would have to report those poor numbers on the quarterly financial results and it would spell a lack of confidence from investors for Ubisoft trying to establish a brand around Watch Dogs.

Moving The Crew and Watch Dogs to the next fiscal period was a smart move because Ubisoft had no hard hitters for early 2014 to flesh out the first quarter period for their 2015 sheet. Padding their Q1 2015 financial period with two hard-hitting AAA titles would “spread the wealth” as opposed to risking cannibalization at the hands of Assassin's Creed (or vice versa) and seeing diminished returns.

Even though Ubisoft's official stance on the situation is that they're delaying Watch Dogs for polish reasons, I suspect they may use the time to further optimize the game – though technically from what they showcased in their gameplay videos, Watch Dogs looks more polished than games like Ryse and Driveclub – the real reason does seem to be what Pachter has suggested.

Regardless, gamers will have to wait until 2014 to get their hands on the hack-and-spy game... a game that will undoubtedly become extremely popular around the NSA offices, along with the Xbox One and Kinect 2.0.

You can learn more about Watch Dogs, which is planned for release on current gen consoles, new gen consoles and PC, by paying a visit to the official website.
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