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Ubisoft’s next-gen driving game The Crew won’t leave the mechanic until next summer.
The publisher revealed today that it is delaying the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC title. It was originally scheduled to debut in the first quarter of 2014. Now the game won’t hit until Ubisoft’s fiscal second quarter of 2014-2015, which is the summer of next year.
“Our long-term goal is to win the next generation,” Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot said in a statement. “The tough decisions we are taking today to fully realize the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance. We are convinced that, longer term, they will prove to be the right decisions both in terms of satisfaction for our fans and in terms of value creation for our shareholders.”
Ubisoft is known for occasionally introducing new franchises that it then expands with yearly sequels. That is the core of its business model. It expects The Crew and Watch Dogs (which it also delayed today) to become “perennial pillars” of its “financial performance,” as Guillemot put it.
“The additional time given to the development of our titles will allow them to fulfill their huge ambitions and thus offer players even more exceptional experiences,” he said.
The Crew and Watch Dogs are both open-world games. While The Crew focuses on driving, Watch Dogs is an action-adventure game set in modern-day Chicago.
Like many of Ubisoft’s upcoming titles, The Crew features a persistent online world that enables a small group of players to band together to compete against other crews of real people … hence the name. Watch Dogs and The Division (also from Ubisoft) all feature a similar take on always-connected gameplay.
This leaves Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Just Dance 4 going into the holiday. Both of those franchises are traditionally good performers for the publisher, but both are suffering from franchise fatigue.