The head of Massive Entertainment has called Ubisoft’s decision to delay Watch Dogs courageous, citing it as proof that the publisher cares more about quality than short-term profits.
Speaking with Examiner, Massive managing director David Polfeldt said his studio takes great comfort in knowing its parent company is willing to make that tradeoff. “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,” he explained. “I think their shares fell 25% 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. 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, but if there is a choice between time and quality then quality will win.
“When we go to the internal milestones,” he continued, “we’re constantly being pushed for more innovation. What could [we] do that surprises even ourselves? What are we not doing that we could do? Have [we] studied the competition? There’s never a discussion about ‘Just get it done guys. Hurry up. We have a deadline, and it doesn’t matter if it’s really perfect.’ I’ve never heard that in an internal.”
Does that “when it’s ready” attitude mean Massive’s online co-op centric, post-pandemic shooter The Division will be suffering a delay of its own? It’s entirely possible, especially given comments made by a Massive employee in January that deemed the idea of a 2014 launch “laughable.”
In the meantime, however, The Division is slated to hit before year’s end on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.