Ubisoft's North American President, Laurent Detoc, says that the company was “inspired” to delay the hotly anticipated Watch Dogs open-world hacking game partly because of the success of Grand Theft Auto V.
Detoc spoke to IGN recently saying “the guys at Rockstar [GTA V's developer] have shown us again that if you make a 96-percent game, people will come. Watch Dogs, I can only hope we get 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...”
So in a round-about way Detoc is saying that while Grand Theft Auto is great game, it got high scores partly because it's part of great series of games where as Watch Dogs is brand new.
The time taken by the delay was for Ubisoft to make sure that Watch Dogs is a really solid game. “We know it's not where we want to be [before the delay]. Can it get there? What will it take to get there? That's why it takes a longer process,” Detoc said.
It's refreshing to see a developer delay a game rather than push it out to customers while trying to fix games with patches after the fact. Something gamers are currently experiencing in some next-gen launch titles. While gamers make a big deal about delays, judging by some of the terrible, buggy games that come out each year there aren’t enough delays for some. Hopefully when Watch Dogs rolls out in August it will be as complete as the designers are looking for. Happy developers usually mean happy gamers.