In a surprise move, especially as it was due for release in the third week of November, Ubisoft has delayed the much-anticipated Watch_Dogs to Spring 2014. The new IP had gained plenty of attention, but there were warning signs when it was only visible as a prepared demonstration at the recent Eurogamer Expo, rather than as a playable demo.

In a note issued from the development team, it's stated that a focus on quality and polish have led to the decision to delay.

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.

The title would have been going up against plenty of big-budget rivals this Holiday season, and perhaps the final result will be improved with the extra development time. After a concerted marketing campaign from Ubisoft this year, however, the decision is sure to disappoint a number of gamers.

Are you surprised or disappointed by this, or would you prefer that time is spent to improve the final product? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.