Ubisoft explains Watch Dogs delay: ‘We could have shipped’

We've been waiting for Watch Dogs for nearly two years. After a significant delay last November, Ubisoft has finally announced that the action-adventure game is launching on May 27 for everything but Wii U. But that's not the whole story.

"When we announced a date, it was because we thought we would be done by then, and not because someone said, 'That’s when you’re shipping because that’s when we need it financially, so cut the game and make it happen,'" Watch Dogs senior producer Dominic Guay said in an interview on Ubiblog. "It was never that. It was, 'This is the game you guys want to make; that’s the game we want you to make.'"

The developer thought Watch Dogs would be ready for Christmas, so it announced the original release date for Nov. 19, 2013. "And for quite a while, it really looked like we’d make it," said Guay. "We had the game playable front-to-back in spring [2013], which meant we had like five, six months ahead of us to iterate and debug, which is more time than a lot of games need. But because we are a new IP, a new game experience, that wasn’t the case."

Ubisoft wanted a lot more time to polish the game, and it got it, according to Guay.

"When we got close to the end, we still could have shipped," he said. "That’s why it’s hard. It was not like we were failing miserably, the game didn’t work, or it couldn’t be played! … But when you iterate on a game and you make a change, look at what it impacts, make another change, it takes time. It’s really hard to predict how much time that’s going to take."