Ubisoft's ambitious next gen open world racer The Crew has been delayed until at least Spring 2014. Originally slated for release during Ubisoft's 2013 – 2014 fiscal year, this means the earliest we will possibly be playing The Crew is now April 1st 2014. Update: Joystiq has since reported that Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot has stated that The Crew will now launch in Q2 of fiscal year 2015 which runs from July 2014 to September 2014 in an investor call today.
The news comes in a simultaneous announcement from Ubisoft stating that their highly anticipated hack 'em up (the non violent kind, that is) extravaganza Watch Dogs will be suffering the same fate. While The Crew didn't have a specific release date, the delay of Watch Dogs comes as a bigger blow since it was one of the most anticipated launch titles for the PS4 and Xbox One. Like many, I was looking forward to causing mischief in Ubisoft's sprawling Chicago city.
Regarding Watch Dogs, Ubisoft have issued the following statement:
“Our ambition from the start with Watch_Dogs has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming. It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until Spring 2014.
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 every detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the way you respond on the web, at events, press conferences and during other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion is what drives us.
We can’t wait to see you in Chicago next Spring. We are confident you’ll love this game as much as we love working on it.”
Both titles were on our road map since the developers have significant pedigree when it comes to driving games – The Crew is being co-developed by Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections who brought us the original Test Drive: Unlimited and the Driver series respectively, whereas Watch Dog's driving portions are also being handled by Ubisoft Reflections. Expect a tail-happy handling model allowing you to perform plenty of slides on Chicago's crowded weathered streets.
You have to wonder just how much the gargantuan success of Rockstar's GTA V influenced Ubisoft's decision to delay Watch Dogs. As for The Crew, this has been an exceedingly crowded year for racing games, and with big name titles of WRC 4, Gran Turismo 6 and Forza Motorsport 5 still just around the corner, giving The Crew some breathing space probably won't do it any harm, thus giving it a chance to hold its own on the next generation racetrack.