In the midst of recent news that Ubisoft titles Watch_Dogs and The Crew have been delayed until Spring 2014, things could be getting worse for Ubi. Reports have emerged that their stock has plummeted in price, essentially making the company’s value drop. The stock market price has been hit by both news of the delays, but also due to the poor sales of Rayman Legends and the excellent Splinter Cell: Blacklist. This lead to a change in their sales forecast (dropping by 30%) and the stock followed suit.
Now that GTA V has made us all millionaire experts at playing the stock market, this should be very exciting news! However, on the off-chance that one company’s fluctuating fortunes does not set your pulse racing, here’s some information you MIGHT care about.
The PS4 Watch_Dogs bundle deal.
Well, so far, Sony, Ubisoft and high street retailers have been marvelously outspoken on the subject. Whilst all acknowledge this is a recent, sudden development and they may not have all the answers just yet – they HAVE reached out (in the US at least) to reassure gamers that their pre-ordered console WILL still be made available to them, only the game will be delayed, not the machine.
There has been much speculation as to what offers or bundles will be offered in Watch_Dogs‘ stead. Given that customers pre-orderd a Ubisoft made, open world adventure game with their PS4, the obvious choice would be Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag – as it too is a Ubisoft made, open-world adventure game. However the tech heavy, hack-tastic, near future Chicago based Watch_Dogs is quite the contrast to the 1700s Carribbean pirate-fest that is Assassin’s Creed 4 – so this is hardly a like-for-like swap!
Customers may prefer to take a solus console and pick up games separately now that Watch_Dogs will be unavailable.
The reasons given behind Ubisoft’s decision to delay Watch_Dogs and The Crew stem from the poor sales of their recent titles and the fact that the game would have been launched ‘cross-generation’. Some customers may have preferred to wait for the PS4 / XboxOne versions – harming sales of the 360 / PS3 versions. Others may have purchased the current-gen version then ignored the next-gen model.
The bottom line is that, unlike the already established Assassin’s Creed franchise, important decisions had to made with this new IP. As much as it pains me to admit (as I’m really looking forward to Watch_Dogs), I think Ubisoft may have called this one right! When the PS4 and XboxOne are firmly established in the market and have a much larger user base installed, Watch_Dogs can be re-presented as a true next-gen title and they’ve given themselves a good 6 months or so to get the game exactly how they want it!
This move by Ubi also sheds some light on why the launch line-up for both next generation consoles is so sparse when it comes to triple A titles – and perhaps why Sony have been so keen to support indie developers. With the big companies reluctant to hemorrhage money on launch titles – as the sales are automatically impaired by a smaller user base – it stands to reason that supporting as many indie developers as possible, so that next-gen gamers have something fresh and new to play, is a very wise choice indeed!
Ubisoft will press ahead with cross-generation experiment with Assassin’s Creed 4. Indeed, the latest reports suggest that AC 4 is actually having its launch day moved forward – to the end of October rather than the start of November!
As news develops, be sure to check back on Twinstick Gaming!
(And if you ARE interested in playing the stock market – I’d buy, buy, buy soon – then sell, sell, sell come June next year!)
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