Ever since Watch Dogs was first announced back in 2012, it has been hugely anticipated by gamers everywhere. It came as a blow to everyone when Ubisoft announced that the game was to be delayed by quite some time, fortunately Watch Dogs is still on schedule for it release later this month. The delay caused financial trouble for Ubisoft but Ubisoft’s marketing executive Tony Key insists the company had no choice.
In an interview, Key said: “This is not an easy decision to make for any company. On the day we announced that, I think our stock dropped 40 percent or some ridiculous number,” Key told the [a]list daily. “We’ve recovered since because people are seeing the rest of our lineup and it turns out maybe it was a good idea.”
“We had no choice, despite the fact that it put us in a tough financial position in the short term. We’re a long-term company, with a long-term vision, and Watch Dogs for us is a long-term play,” he added. “We had no choice. We knew it was the right thing to do, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.”
Key also explained how setting up a new franchise who’s game would be released on the older and newer gen consoles as well as PC meant the process was very difficult. He seemed to envy the experience the team working on the annual Assassin’s Creed games have gained since the franchise was first released in 2009.
“The Assassin’s Creed team has gotten so much experience now in working on a schedule that they’ve found that delicate balance of being able to put their heart and soul into the game and still making a schedule work,” Key said. “But a new brand, as you’ve seen time and time again from publishers everywhere, it’s very difficult to make that work.”
The fact that Watch Dogs was delayed so close to its release date caused a lot of headaches in the marketing department. Key said: “The decision was made very late, and we were rolling along in a lot of areas on the marketing side. Any time a game slips, there are marketing inefficiencies,” Key said. “We are still executing, for the most part, the plan that we had had. It was a lot of late nights and crazy reactions to putting everything on hold at the last minute. It’s the least of our problems to put marketing on hold, compared to getting the game right, but it’s a lot of work for a marketing team when something like that moves. You have to reallocate all your resources on a new schedule, you’ve got your retailers to deal with, who are already running marketing for your game in some cases. Slips like that are incredibly inefficient.”
Watch Dogs is due for release on May 27th and will be available on the PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. A Wii U version will come some time later.