Ubisoft says Watch Dogs will be delayed until the spring of 2014

'As we got closer to release ... it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish,' a Ubisoft rep says of the highly-anticipated Watch Dogs. 

A screenshot from the forthcoming Ubisoft title Watch Dogs.

It was one of the most hotly-anticipated titles for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – a stealth game that mixed the open-world freedom of GTA V with the high-tech capering of Splinter Cell. But now comes word that Ubisoft's Watch Dogs won't make it onto store shelves until spring of 2014. 

"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," Ubisoft's Gary Steinman wrote Tuesday morning on the official company blog. "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." 

This is disappointing for a range of reasons, chief of which is that without Watch Dogs, the PS4 and the Xbox One are going to be launching with a real dearth of new franchises.

Peruse the list of Xbox One launch titles, for instance, and you'll see a lot of numbers: FIFA 14, Dead Rising 3, Battlefield 4, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. (To say nothing of Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest in the CoD franchise.) There's still Ryse: Son of Rome, of course, but forgive us if we were a little more excited for Watch Dogs. 

On the other hand, as gamers, we're content to wait a little longer for a top-notch game if it means that title won't be full of bugs and glitches and freeze-ups. Remember that GTA V was originally intended for a spring 2013 launch, before Rockstar delayed the game until the fall. The result? One of the most successful – and critically-acclaimed – video games in history. 

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