In a conference call this morning, Ubisoft said it expects Watch Dogs to be released in the first quarter of its fiscal year (between April 1 and June 30, 2014) and The Crew to be released in the second quarter (between July 1 and September 30, 2014).
Ubisoft posted the following statement from the Watch Dogs development team on the Ubisoft Blog:
"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. It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until spring 2014.
We know a lot of you are probably wondering: Why now? We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. 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.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the way you respond on the web, at events, press conferences and other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion keeps us motivated.
We can’t wait to see you in Chicago next spring. We are confident you’ll love this game as much as we love working on it."
Ubisoft also released the following separate statement from CEO Yves Guillemot:
"Our long term goal is to win the next generation. 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. 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. We are building franchises that will become perennial pillars of Ubisoft’s financial performance. In a context of growing successes for mega-blockbusters, the additional time given to the development of our titles will allow them to fulfill their huge ambitions and thus offer players even more exceptional experiences.
Fueled by strong momentum for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, calendar 2014 will see the return of growth to the console market. Combined with the quality of our line-up and our strong financial situation, this growth will allow us to achieve record operating income in fiscal 2014-15 and 2015-16."