Ubisoft Stock Nosedives in Wake of Game Delays
As you know by now, two of Ubisoft’s highly anticipated holiday games, Watch Dogs and The Crew, have been pushed back to Spring 2014 releases, knocking them out of this fiscal year and lowering the company’s projected earnings from $1.94 billion to $1.38 billion. As it turns out, the news wasn’t just bad for fans of video games—the shareholders were none too happy when the company’s stock value fell 32 percent, the biggest such fall “since its 1996 debut on the Paris exchange,” says a Bloomberg report on the matter.
But if you ask Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot, moving these games to next year is the right way to go:
“We made a choice that will pay off in the long run. The market has changed—we need huge blockbusters, and that means making very high-quality games.
It’s little bits of polish and fine-tuning, but they really matter—we want these games to be the best out there for new-generation consoles. Watch Dogs could be as big as Assassin’s Creed, even bigger. It’s a great opportunity to increase our market share.”
It’s not a bad way to think of all this, either. The short term loss may certainly be made up in long term gains. As Bruce and Kovic have pointed out, delaying Watch Dogs will help the company avoid competing with itself, since Assassin’s Creed IV is already coming out this fall. Having both triple-A games out on the market in the same time period would force consumers to choose one over the other—this way, chances are better that the same consumer will drop another sixty bucks on Watch Dogs several months after finishing AC4.
But what about folks who pre-ordered Watch Dogs as part of a bundle for their new next-gen systems? GameStop and Amazon have released statements on that subject to potentially put your minds at ease.
“With the news that Ubisoft has delayed the release of the highly-anticipated title Watch Dogs until next year, GameStop is contacting customers who had reserved PlayStation 4 and Xbox One bundles featuring the game. Customers can elect to keep their current bundle orders and their consoles will ship as scheduled with the game shipping separately once it is available or customers can choose another bundle to replace their current order. Customers should also note that there may be a difference in price if selecting another bundle and that all reserved orders will be charged upon shipment.”
And now from Amazon:
Don't worry if you pre-ordered the Watch Dogs PS4 bundle, you will still be getting your PS4 based on your current delivery estimate.
— Amazon Video Games (@amazongames) October 15, 2013
Phew! Personally, while I’m disappointed about not getting Watch Dogs next month…I think I’ll be okay. I still have plenty of Grand Theft Auto V to get through, and Arkham Origins should be flapping onto my PC in short order as well. Then there’s XCOM: Enemy Within in November, South Park: Stick of Truth in December, and then all those other damn Steam games I bought earlier this year that I haven’t touched. I think I’ll manage without Watch Dogs until Spring.
But what about you? Does this change your plans for the next-gen launch next month?
[Via Bloomberg and GameInformer]