GTAV's success puts pressure on Watch Dogs, says analyst

Benchmark Company's Mike Hickey says Ubisoft ultimately made the right decision to delay the game until the developer could "get it right."

Grand Theft Auto V's critical and commercial success has put pressure on Ubisoft's own open-world game Watch Dogs, Benchmark Company analyst Mike Hickey has said.

Speaking with The New York Times, Hickey said Ubisoft decision to delay Watch Dogs was understandable because delivering an experience that did not meet gamers' expectations could have been detrimental to the brand.

"The success of Grand Theft Auto V has put a lot of pressure on Watch Dogs," Hickey said. "They want it to be their next big franchise."

GTAV generated a record-breaking $800 million in 24 hours and more than $1 billion in its first three days. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot addressed the "GTA effect" this week, saying games like GTAV can actually have a positive impact on competing products like Watch Dogs.

"Each time there's a megablockbuster that takes lots of sales, it has an impact around it for sure," Guillemot said. "There's a positive and negative effect. The positive one is that it's actually pushing lots of players to come back to their machine and play. So it generally has a positive impact on the games that come after because those guys want more now that they've experimented with a very good quality game," he added. "So we can now expect a positive effect after the launch."

Guillemot said delaying Watch Dogs will allow the game to have "far bigger potential."

"The company made the right decision," Hickey added. "They could have put out a lower-quality game, but it’s best to wait to get it right."

BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Williams agreed.

"You only get one chance to make a first impression with gamers," Williams said. "The delays bring into question the original timeline put forward by Ubisoft, but they want to give it the best opportunity for sustained success."

Following Ubisoft's announcement of Watch Dogs and The Crew delays this week, the company's share value plunged more than 30 percent, the most in company history. Ubisoft expects to book a loss of up to $95 million for the year, compared to previous estimations for a profit of $170 million for the same period.

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Discussion

75 comments
farcorners
farcorners

It makes a lot of sense to get things right, but doesn't make a lot of sense to pre-order consoles, based on the expectations of day one titles.

poseidion
poseidion

Usually I don't care about game delays cuz there's always something to play (playing GTA V atm). BUT, I reserved the PS4 only for the two games precisely delayed: Watch Dogs and The Crew. Now, since I don't care about anything else so far regarding next-gen games, what the fudge am I supposed to do with a new shiny console growing roots in my room? Yes, exactly the first thing that passed thru your dirty mind. Thanks Ubisoft, another company on my hate-list. Game Stop and Sony: sorry but I'm using the $100 I used to preorder the PS4 for later.

alex_zander
alex_zander

Guys, it's no quality issue, just marketing. Anything close to GTA V, and players wont give a fuck, cause they are too preoccupied.

It's common logic, anyone could've seen this a mile away. Personally, I hate lies.

hadlee73
hadlee73

What did this analyst do? Collect many of the posts on the gamespot message boards and write a report summarizing it? Its like Analyst Feedbackula, lol

tightwad34
tightwad34

Uh, this is something we knew pretty much as soon as we saw they were delaying it. Hell, GTAV puts pressure on any game that gets released anywhere close to it.

MonocleOwl
MonocleOwl

Would this even constitute as an article if instead of an "analyst" it would have been "some dude". Because that's what he is, a dude, just some dude with an opinion, and some thoughts.

"GTAV's success puts pressure on Watch Dogs, some dude thinks"

R083R70
R083R70

I personally doubt it has anything to do with the quality, sure they now add a few tweaks you don't show of as much as this game did AND bundle your game with the long awaited new generation of games and suddenly stumble upon half a year's worth of bugs; this has got to be coming from a marketing stand point.  Not only will the fact that many people will have to choose between this and GTA V due to their close release dates come into play but Watchdogs won't have the spotlight anymore; GTA V has and will continue to have the majority of the public's attention for a couple more months, by waiting Ubisoft is letting the excitement die down so that once their game releases they'll be what everyone's talking about. 

FlavethesonPE1
FlavethesonPE1

Its like this guy came here, read our comments and went to NY Times to tell them how smart he is. GG

R3NeGaDeAnGeL
R3NeGaDeAnGeL

In other news, the sky is blue. 


Damn, I should be an analyst

nurnberg
nurnberg

Why is it that every time an analyst says something interesting, relevant, or intelligent, it's not Pachter?

Hurvl
Hurvl

Of course Watchdogs is a rival to GTA V! Didn't you take a look at that image at the top of the article? He's holding the gun sideways - it's so gangsta, just like GTA V!

Fine_TableLamp
Fine_TableLamp

I don't know about anyone else, but to me it sounds like they are saying their game sucks.

Techtroll
Techtroll

They can make up for losses next year if they make watch dogs more like gta 5/online put music and characters into the game maybe

gamerpoet
gamerpoet

GTA V made other games look worthless

atlanticmoon
atlanticmoon

The hype for this game has dropped severely. GTA V has put the open world games on their face. 

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

Watch dogs was just another ubi crap game that play once and trade in. By the time this comes out there will be way better games to buy and this will be forgotten

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

This game will just come and go with the breeze of the wind I believe.

theshadowbroker
theshadowbroker

Now that GTA5 has set the standard for what an urban sandbox game should be, Watch Dogs better step up their game with more cars, a bigger city, and most importantly a better multiplayer and higher replay value.

howiex89
howiex89

Please... tell me more....

dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

Thanks Mr Analyst. I had no idea that a competing product could take sales away from its competitors.

Solace427
Solace427

Who the F@#%#$ needs an analyst to realize that was the case?!

So while I'm over here actually doing work for my job, this guy is being paid to point at the sky and say "The sky is in fact blue" -.- 

AWESOME! :D

dominoodle
dominoodle

I wish i could be paid to say obvious things.

thomasn7
thomasn7

Well I think Watch Dogs pretty much failed because if they delayed because of GTAV then they are in for a rude awakening. GTAV is coming to the pc and I bet there is a chance GTAV comes to next gen consoles as well. So GTAV is not going away anytime soon.

LADIES_MAN_2013
LADIES_MAN_2013

These analysts will say anything to get attention. I mean be serious, when was the last time when an analyst said something useful? Never, because they just speak their opinion as a fact. And anyone who takes it seriously is an idiot.

freonyl
freonyl

delayed to spring 2014?? what if rockstar release pc version  of gta 5 in spring 2014? :P

KingSardine
KingSardine

this is off topic, but is it just me, or does Gamespot currently feel like a ghost town...

roman4545
roman4545

@R3NeGaDeAnGeLsky is blue ? please tell me more. My chain is not long enough to see the outside world.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@atlanticmoon My favorite games are open world games (I find level based hard to play/boring), but, oddly, I don't like GTA.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Solace427 That would be something to report up here in Sweden, in the middle of rainy October, but I get what you're saying :P.

R083R70
R083R70

@LADIES_MAN_2013 I agree that the most accurate and useful information comes straight from the company's mouth and analyst comments should be taken with a grain of salt, but if someone makes a living off of their predictions (meaning the quality of their prediction will determine their next meal) it's not idiotic to at least consider what they say (hell at least considering what anyone says may potentially wiser).

Smosh150
Smosh150

@freonyl If they did it would be cool, but not as detrimental to Watch Dog's profit. I am a PC gamers, but we are a minority and do not affect game sales near as heavily  as consoles do, especially since we have steam where everything is on sale lol.

R083R70
R083R70

@KingSardine It comment section seems about as active as far as I can tell, but I have noticed that I'm seeing the same users again and again that's a little weird.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@b74kd3th No idea dude :/ my grammer skills are still slowly expanding. I think with GTA it's the world and general 'douch bag' atmosphere. Makes me feel dirty.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@The-Neon-Seal If Shango4 had said "that guy", there would be no room for misunderstanding, but unfortunately that would require some advanced language skills. I think Shango4 is referring to the leetspeaky Mr. b74kd3th.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@Shango4 @The-Neon-Seal @b74kd3th You mean me or the other guy?