‘Watch Dogs’ delayed until 2014, Ubisoft announces

Oct. 15, 2013 | 12:30 p.m.
The Chicago-set "Watch_Dogs" is heading to the PS4. (Ubisoft)

The Chicago-set “Watch Dogs” is heading to the PS4. (Ubisoft)

“Watch Dogs,” which had been one of the most anticipated new games of 2013, just became one of the most anticipated new games of 2014.

Ubisoft announced Tuesday that the release of the title has been pushed back until at least spring of next year.

“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,” read a statement attributed to the “Watch Dogs” development team. “It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until spring 2014.”

Set in Chicago, “Watch Dogs” presents a world in which governing forces are spying on citizens with hidden surveillance systems and guns are easy to come by. Gamers play as protagonist Aiden Pearce, who has the ability to hack into the mobile phones or the homes of anyone he passes, pulling up arrest warrants or seeming innocuous details such as someone’s food allergies.

Ubisoft’s post Tuesday noted that the company “struggled” with whether to delay the game, which had been scheduled for a Nov. 19 release on current and next-generation consoles. “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 each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience,” the post stated.

Ubisoft also pushed the release of next-gen racing game “The Crew” into 2014. In announcing the decisions, the Paris-based company notified shareholders that it was lowering its projected 2013 sales.

“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,” said Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot. “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.”

“Watch Dogs” creative director Jonathan Morin said he wanted players to walk away from the game “with a very different take on security, moral ambiguity and why there’s crime in the world.” Ironically, it might so mirror reality now that it may be the rare mainstream title that’s less of an escape from reality than a way to talk about real-life issues.

Plot details pf the game have thus far been scant, but Ubisoft is continuing to move forward with Sony Pictures and New Regency to bring “Watch Dogs” to the big screen.

“The story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller,” Hannah Minghella, president of production for Columbia Pictures, said in a statement when the film plans were unveiled in September.

“Watch Dogs” already had been available for pre-order, with some retailers offering to bundle the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles with the game. Details on the options available to consumers who pre-ordered such bundles have not yet been announced.

— Todd Martens

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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8 Responses to ‘Watch Dogs’ delayed until 2014, Ubisoft announces

  1. Whelp, goodbye "PlayStation 4 Watch Dogs Launch Day Bundle" on Amazon.

    • Marc D says:

      I ordered the same launch day bundle, And I just checked amazon and this is what it said.
      "Questions about PlayStation 4 Watch Dogs Launch Day Bundle Delivery?
      Even though the release date for Watch Dogs has been delayed, all orders for the Watch Dogs PlayStation 4 Bundle will keep their place in line. We will fulfill the PlayStation 4, without the Watch Dogs game, in accordance with your current delivery estimate. We are working on adjusting these orders and will update you via e-mail as soon as we know more."

  2. Zero Cool says:

    aw boo i was really hoping to get my zero cool on this xmas

  3. @NoviPublic says:

    I am sorry but you don't have a street date a month from today and suddenly realize the game is nearly a year away from being ready.

    This was clearly a disgusting, calculated move to help move console preorders and build the installed base. They likely knew that it would not be near ready in time, yet waited this long to announce it? After most people already made their preorders or prepaid for their consoles? This is a new low for the money grubbing gaming industry.

  4. Amiga4000rules says:

    I would rather wait for a game that is polished up. It makes the experience so much better. No more games with multiple glitches. Take the time and push this game over the top, just like Assassin’s Creed.


    Sad! Especially, since it is TWO different games, yeesh. Better they don't release it with bugs, because UBISOFT will NEVER fix them later! Play BATTLEFIELD 4 and DRIVECLUB instead!!

  6. forceofthegrim says:

    Damn, I was really excited for this game, especially on PC. Although at the same time, I can wait. This way, there won't be as many bugs. It was also a good move for them financially, with GTA V being so popular. Now there might be more players than there would be if they released it in Nov…..

    Still, if you're going to announce a release date (and this applies even more so for big dev companies like Ubisoft), then you had better make sure you are actually capable of releasing the game on that date, not months afterwords.

  7. Jay Strokes says:

    Release Date 6.30.14

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