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Ubisoft's Watch Dogs delayed until 2014

The open-world stealth hacking game that was supposed to be a launch title for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 won't be released until March next year at the earliest.

(Credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft Montreal has announced the delay of Watch Dogs, its open-world stealth game based on hacking portable electronics. Originally slated for November, it was scheduled to be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii U -- as well as being a hotly anticipated launch title for the two new next-gen consoles, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

"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 [Northern hemisphere] 2014," wrote Ubisoft in a statement on its blog.

"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."

Gamers, many of whom have already preordered the game, have taken to the Ubisoft forums to express their disappointment. "Very disappointed, maybe you should have decided this before you created such a hype among us fans," wrote ashwinvinswam. "I took the whole month off already to play this game," added xryanx28, and EzioCludable noted, "I'd play that game in its current version, no matter how many bugs or unfinished things there are. Guys, I respect you work and your decisions, but I pre-ordered this, you can't do this! You can't! No!"

However, Ubisoft feels it has made the correct decision. "Our long-term goal is to win the next generation. The tough decisions we are taking today to fully realise the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in a statement.

"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 fulfil their huge ambitions and thus offer players even more exceptional experiences."