Ubisoft hopes Watch Dogs to reach GTA-like reputation
In an interview with IGN, Ubisoft’s North America president Laurent Detoc explained some of the thought process behind the recent delay of Watch Dogs. Interestingly, Detoc thinks that Watch Dogs could still have been the best rated game amongst the launch lineup, but they’re shooting for an even higher target – Grand Theft Auto.
I actually believe that Watch Dogs could have ended up being the best-rated game on next gen if it came out at launch. We wanted it to be even higher,” Detoc told us. “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
Detoc also added that the company genuinely thought they would be able to ship Watch Dogs in time for the launch of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as scheduled, until about Gamescom 2013 (August).
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. 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
We still don’t have a concrete release date for Watch Dogs; the official blog post about the delay talks about Spring, and it’s known that the game won’t be released until after the next fiscal year at Ubisoft, which begins on 1 April. Platforms are probably going to remain the same though, which means that PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and WiiU should get the game some time between April and June.