Uh-Oh: Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs Kicked to 2014, Major Fiscal Loss Projected

Next-gen bundle pre-buyers are left in limbo.

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Time to play the subtraction game: Which next-gen bundle just disappeared from store shelves this November?

Try bundles, plural, specifically GameStop’s Watch Dogs bundle for Xbox One as well as Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs bundle for PlayStation 4.

Poor Watch Dogs, or I should say poor anyone who doled out cash for one of these bundles, to say nothing of those hoping to play the game yet this year.

Ubisoft just announced that the game — a sandbox dystopian action-adventure that’s among the most anticipated games coming this fall for both current- and next-gen systems — has been unexpectedly delayed until “spring 2014.”

Here’s Ubisoft’s official explainer:

We know a lot of you are probably wondering: Why now? 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. 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.

Unfortunate as it is, I fully endorse this. Take a year if you have to, Ubisoft! Games are ready when they’re ready, and it’s not like the holiday lineup (including all the next-gen titles) is going to suffer much.

But what about those who paid for bundle delivery in November? Do these folks have to wait until 2014? (Surely not.) Do they get their money back? (If they want, why not? They could have before the game was cancelled.) Will GameStop and/or Sony proffer another replacement bundle with a different game and something tossed in, say a partial or full voucher for Watch Dogs when it arrives, to sweeten the deal? (That’d be my bet.)

No one seems to have an answer, which is less worrisome than it is sloppy. The delay announcement should have included details about these bundles. What happens to those folks should be up there on Ubisoft’s blog with everything else, front and center.

In related news, Ubisoft also pushed its next-gen racer, The Crew, back to sometime between April and September 2014 (it was originally due Q1 2014). These delays combined, admits Ubisoft honcho Yves Guillemot, could lose the company fiscal revenue of $560 million, knocking its total down from $1.94 billion to $1.38 billion, taking the company from profitable to a loss of around $88 million, reports CVG.

Stay tuned and I’ll update here as soon as Ubisoft clarifies the bundle situation.

Update: Here’s what Ubisoft’s saying about the bundle right now.

Our partnership with Sony remains strong, and we will have more details to share about the specific benefits of this partnership for PlayStation customers at a later date.

Update 2: And here’s what Amazon just posted on its Facebook page, effectively telling PS4 bundle preorders they’ll get a PS4 minus the game (I assume price-adjusted):

For those of you who pre-order the Watch Dogs PlayStation 4 bundle—don’t worry—you will still be getting your Playstation 4 (without Watch Dogs) based on your current delivery estimate. We are adjusting the orders now and will update you once we know more.

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