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Pachter: Ubisoft was worried GTA V, COD & BF4 would hurt Watch Dogs

shinobi602

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Sep 28, 2010
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"We believe that management was also concerned about the strong competition for wallet share Watch Dogs faced at the holidays from Grand Theft Auto V, Battlefield 4, and a new Call of Duty, among others," wrote Pachter in a note released yesterday.

He added: "Grand Theft Auto V is only adding to industry uncertainty, as while it is bringing many previously-disconnected gamers back to the market, it also has achieved record-breaking sales that have tapped a certain percentage of gamer holiday spending months ahead of time."
"Given next-gen uncertainty and this very strong slate of competitors, we believe the two aforementioned delays were the right decision," he wrote.

He added: "By releasing Watch Dogs in Q1:15, Ubisoft has given its developers the opportunity to fully maximize the game's sales potential in FY:15 and build a lasting franchise that the company could use to offset any future weakness for its established key franchises (displayed most recently by the disappointing Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist).

"We are somewhat concerned about competition in Ubisoft's Q1, however, with games like EA's Titanfall, Activision's Destiny and Microsoft's Halo 5 all targeting the same launch window.
We don't think it is important that Watch Dogs (or any of the other three games) launches in Q1, and we expect all of the game publishers to behave rationally when setting release dates to avoid competition wherever possible."
Via Videogamer
 

Pie and Beans

Look for me on the local news, I'll be the guy arrested for trying to burn down a Nintendo exec's house.
Apr 23, 2010
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Um, no way is Halo 5 out next year in the same window. Christ.

Also no mention of AC4, which is more than likely Ubisoft's real "wallet share" concern and numbers they had access to may have been displeasing on preorders.
 

Simply Sami

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Mar 9, 2009
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They will only come up against GTA V next gen.

I think watchdogs would have sold well on next gen. As it offered something different from a lot of the shooters.
 

Salmonbottle

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Jan 11, 2011
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Someone needs to tell Pachter that Halo 5 isn't coming out in the spring. He said that on the Bonus Round, too.

Autumn 2014, Pach.
 

UrbanRats

Member
Jun 25, 2009
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It was probably a good idea.

The game didn't look too hot, and it was going to cannibalize AC4 anyway.
 

sajj316

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Dec 18, 2007
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So they did not know GTA V, COD, and BF4 were releasing around the same time ... months in advance .. only to delay it a month before release. Come on now!
 

funkystudent

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Apr 3, 2010
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Why does Pact seem to think Halo is out in the first half of next year? This isnt the first time he has said it.

September is always Halo time isnt it?
 

chrominance

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May 24, 2013
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Even if Pachter is right, it shows a stunning lack of forethought on Ubisoft's part. Every single one of those games was announced well in advance and Ubisoft made their announcement at essentially the last possible second, screwing retailers and partners in the process.
 

HariKari

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Jun 28, 2013
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I don't buy the "not enough money to go around" argument. Gamers will buy great games, regardless of how cramped the release schedule is. If your game is mediocre, however, it might behoove you to release against less competition...
 

Coldnoodle

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Jan 2, 2012
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Then why did they make that "Two months is enough in Los Santos" thing?

This is a quality issue most likely.
 

Madness

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Jan 1, 2013
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Why does Pact seem to think Halo is out in the first half of next year? This isnt the first time he has said it.

September is always Halo time isnt it?

Until 343 chose November as the release for their games. Bungie did September, 343 released Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 4 in November.

As for Ubisoft, next year is when a lot of the games will be ground up next gen development. Watch Dogs really needs to move beyond cross gen and really show something spectacular here.
 

Felix Lighter

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Oct 2, 2007
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How much marketing money did they waste targeting a November release? If the reasoning was really fear of other big titles, they took their sweet time coming to that conclusion.
 

John Harker

Definitely doesn't make things up as he goes along.
Feb 26, 2005
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Honestly the way I hear it, he's not really that right here... It has way more to to with quality score and meta critic they want than competition fears. The other publishers were more worried about WD than vice versa in terms of next gen market share based on tracking and pre orders.

It must have been a real tough call to make but if it gets you the 9+ you really want to deliver on your promise, it builds a stronger new IP for the future
 

Conor 419

Banned
Oct 23, 2011
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Why does Pachter think the new Halo is realising next year full stop? It's been two years since Halo 4, 343i are fucking stupid but there is NO way they are stupid enough to drop Halo to a two year development cycle cross gen, no fucking way.
 

Ridley327

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Feb 7, 2005
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Honestly the way I hear it, he's not really that right here... It has way more to to with quality score and meta critic they want than competition fears. The other publishers were more worried about WD than vice versa in terms of next gen market share based on tracking and pre orders.

It must have been a real tough call to make but if it gets you the 9+ you really want to deliver on your promise, it builds a stronger new IP for the future

It's odd, considering how divisive the first Assassin's Creed was, and they were still able to push that as their breadwinner. The game must've have been appreciably worse than that one was for them to make that call.
 

D Bo Chops

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Oct 1, 2013
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Um, no way is Halo 5 out next year in the same window. Christ.

Also no mention of AC4, which is more than likely Ubisoft's real "wallet share" concern and numbers they had access to may have been displeasing on preorders.
Right?! Since when is Halo on an annual launch cycle. Halo 4 was just released last year. 3 year cycle at least. Were not talking COD here. As for Assasins Creed, I really think fans of the series have been numbed to the point of indifference. I enjoyed the first games but now have no opinion either way of Black Flag...I really don't care.
 

fatgamecat

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Oct 24, 2012
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Probably a good thing overall, we have lots of other next gen games to enjoy this year and Watch Dogs will be that much better when it's eventually released. 2014 does seem a tad less crowded, although I haven't pored over any lists.
 

Morts

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Oct 6, 2004
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It's our fault for complaining about the bugs in Assassin's Creed 3. If we would just be okay with buggy games Watch Dogs would still be coming out this year.

Sorry, Ubi stockholders. We dropped the ball on this one.
 

Dr Dogg

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Nov 30, 2011
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I would have thought facing off against themselves with AC4 would have played a big part. Games might be different but the audience they are aimed at are more than likely one and the same.

Only bad thing to come out of the delay for me is that Zavvi are going to be sending me "Sorry about your order" emails every week for at least the next 6 months like they have for the past 2.
 

Somnid

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Aug 9, 2006
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Had they not forced shooting into the game I could see the potential impact being a lot less but that's how they chose to market it. I have a feeling this game is going to suffer from Bioshock Infinite syndrome.

Rayman is different but nobody actually likes the character and the legacy is mediocre at best. Probably the biggest reasons I wasn't interested.

Also moving into spring doesn't help because literally everything else that's missing launch (most of the interesting games), are trying to jam into spring.
 

Valnen

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Aug 4, 2009
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So if GTA V re-releases, doesn't that make a delay kind of pointless if the game is done? Ubisoft is taking a gamble here if the game is finished and they're just delaying it for financial reasons...
 

rrs

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Nov 18, 2012
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Now Ubisoft has opened up to get a nice GTAV next-gen uppercut, those games weren't going to hurt next gen sales. It's more than likely quality issues as stated earlier ruining any chance to milk the "franchise."
 

John Harker

Definitely doesn't make things up as he goes along.
Feb 26, 2005
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It's odd, considering how divisive the first Assassin's Creed was, and they were still able to push that as their breadwinner. The game must've have been appreciably worse than that one was for them to make that call.

My guess is they don't think the current market would allow them to get away with it again. Too savvy/competition too caught up. This can't be a 7.5/8 launch with that kind of spend and 1st party support and live the next 10 year. Though it will be a huge success if try can deliver the 9/9.5. I imagine this was the reason... Obviously anything that impacts a fiscal this much is not for competition reasons mainly, you've already accounted for that especially when you're in the lead in mind share, pre order and tending
 

Ein Bear

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Mar 10, 2011
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Right?! Since when is Halo on an annual launch cycle. Halo 4 was just released last year. 3 year cycle at least. Were not talking COD here.

2009 - Halo 3: ODST
2010 - Halo: Reach
2011 - Halo: Anniversary
2012 - Halo 4

I realise that the developer transition/scale of projects made this much easier to pull off, but I really can't see Microsoft allowing Halo games three years to cook anymore, unfortunately.
 

BruiserBear

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Oct 19, 2010
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Yes, there was a lot of competition, but the game was clearly not going to be satisfactory on all platforms. I still believe that was the main reason for the delay.


Wait, Halo 5 is coming out first half of next year???


Hell no. Next fall.
 
Apr 30, 2009
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Ubisoft remembered only at the very last second that GTA, COD, and Battlefield were popular? That doesn't sound that plausible to me.
 

shinra-bansho

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Nov 13, 2011
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I don't really get where Pachter got that Halo is releasing in either calendar of fiscal Q1...

Also, I thought Titanfall was calendar Q1 not fiscal Q1.
 

Patryn

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Dec 4, 2007
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I still don't think Ubi would burn relationships with Sony, Microsoft and especially retailers over a purely strategic move. Ubi screwed both over by waiting until now to announce the delay.

If they were going to do a strategic delay, they would have announced it a while ago.

I really think the game just wasn't in shape to release, most likely especially after seeing GTA5.