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Ubisoft: Watch Dogs delay meant most ideas were not pushed to sequel

Creative VP has "few regrets" about the final product

A senior figure at Ubisoft Montreal has said the studio would have been forced to axe "several" Watch Dogs game systems had the open-world title not been delayed from its original release target of November 2013.

Speaking to CVG at GDC, Ubisoft's VP of creative, Lionel Raynaud revealed that the Watch Dogs team even considered saving these specific systems for a sequel, but ultimately decided that the additional development time required to implement them would be worthwhile.

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"There were several systems that were not going to be in the game if we released in November," he said. "There's always the discussion of, 'should we leave them for the sequel, or do we take the time to finish them?' And we decided to take our time and do it right.

"It's made a big difference - we've polished everything. The things we've developed the most are the interactions with hacking, and how in many situations being smart with chain reactions can offer something unique from any other open-world game.

"If we weren't able to deliver this aspect, it wouldn't feel new enough to be worth a new IP."

Despite having "very few regrets" about the final form of Watch Dogs, Raynaud confirmed that some larger concepts that emerged during development were deliberately 'saved' in order to avoid disrupting the "consistency" of the game.

"There are always things that you have to keep for the next game. In this case, the extra time allowed us to put a lot of our ideas into the game, so we are happy with that.

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"Yes, we have ideas [for a sequel]. Some ideas that we weren't able to get into the game would not have made a difference, while other, bigger ideas that naturally emerged during development were so different that we felt they would have changed the experience.

"The consistency that we have achieved with the characters, structure and narrative would have been difficult to maintain if we put in the other ideas that we had. So where we are now is keeping these ideas safe for the next game."

After an additional six months of development time, Ubisoft has finally confirmed a Watch Dogs release date of May 27, 2014 for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. A Wii U version is set to "release at a later date".

Ubisoft's VP of creative told CVG he was pleased with the level of quality the delay has afforded.

"Personally, I have very few regrets on Watch Dogs. I can't think of many things that I would've liked to have put in the game - I'm quite happy with what we were able to deliver thanks to the extra time that we had.

"It's always a huge challenge when you to develop the technology, the IP and the process on a new platform all at the same time. It's crazy. You need to split your risks and make sure you do it right.

"We took a lot of risks and that's one of the reasons that we needed more time - to reach the level of quality we wanted."

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