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Watch Dogs delay sent 'an important message' to The Division studio

Massive praises parent company Ubisoft for prioritising quality over quick release

The Watch Dogs delay sent out an important message to Ubisoft's first-party development teams, according David Polfeldt, managing director of The Division studio Massive Entertainment.

The Watch Dogs release date is set for May 27, although the open-world game was originally scheduled to launch in November 2013, only to be pushed back due to quality concerns.

Polfeldt told Examiner: "It's tremendously important for us as a developer studio, to know that the owner and the publisher are ready to take that hit, and [the Watch Dogs delay] was a massive hit. I think their shares fell 25 per cent on the day it was announced it was being delayed.

"It takes so much courage to live through that day and still think that was a good decision. So for us in the development [side of things], that's an important message that ultimately the management will back up the goals that we have, which is the game has to be great.

"That's ultimately the end goal and then it's a million times better if it's on time," Polfeldt added, "but if there is a choice between time and quality, then quality will win."

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said that The Division release date will fall "closer to the end of 2014 than the start", possibly lining up the title as a Christmas release.

In January, GameReactor alleged that a developer from Massive had labelled the game's 2014 launch target "laughable" and ruled out a release this year.

But asked for a status update on the project in CVG's most recent The Division preview, game director Ryan Barnard said: "Production is on track and great. All we can do is offer our official response, which is that we don't comment on speculation and rumours. It's unfortunate that that's out there but everything's going great here in Sweden apart from the weather."

In the works since 2012, the Xbox One, PS4 and PC game is principally being developed by Massive, although it was confirmed earlier this year that both The Crew studio Ubisoft Reflections and Tom Clancy specialist Ubisoft Red Storm had been drafted in to collaborate on the project

The online, open-world role playing shooter takes place in New York following the release of a devastating manmade virus. Players step into the boots of agents from The Division, a classified unit fighting to prevent the collapse of society.

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