Het was onverwacht en niemand is er blij mee; Watch_Dogs gaat niet meer dit jaar verschijnen. Eerder deze week kwam het nieuws dat de game uitgesteld is naar de lente van 2014 waardoor het meteen ook geen launch game meer is voor de PlayStation 4. Volgens Ubisoft is de game nog niet af en moet er nog flink aan gewerkt worden. Analist Michael Pachter denkt hier anders over. Volgens hem is Ubisoft bang voor de concurrentie met Grand Theft Auto V, Battlefield 4 en Call of Duty: Ghosts.
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. Grand Theft Auto V is only adding to industry uncertainty, as while it is bringing many previously-disconnected gamers back to the market, it also has achieved record-breaking sales that have tapped a certain percentage of gamer holiday spending months ahead of time.
Given next-gen uncertainty and this very strong slate of competitors, we believe the two aforementioned delays were the right decision. By releasing Watch Dogs in Q1:15, Ubisoft has given its developers the opportunity to fully maximize the game’s sales potential in FY:15 and build a lasting franchise that the company could use to offset any future weakness for its established key franchises (displayed most recently by the disappointing Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist).
We are somewhat concerned about competition in Ubisoft’s Q1, however, with games like EA’s Titanfall, Activision’s Destiny and Microsoft’s Halo 5 all targeting the same launch window. We don’t think it is important that Watch Dogs (or any of the other three games) launches in Q1, and we expect all of the game publishers to behave rationally when setting release dates to avoid competition wherever possible.