Rayman Legends, the sequel to the successful Rayman Origins, was supposedly going to be an exclusive title for the Wii U. However, Ubisoft recently announced that Legends was being delayed until November because they want to make the game as good as possible. Shortly after this news, however, it was revealed that Legends was no longer a Wii U exclusive and that the real reason for the delay is so that it can be released simultaneously with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 ports. While video games being delayed has been commonplace in the industry for decades most of the time these delays are met with mild concern. However, when it comes to much-anticipated titles this quiet sulking turns into a loud and bitter disdain. Factor in the fact that Wii U owners thought they were getting treated to something just for them and you have a full on hurricane of frustration on your hands.
The protests for the Rayman Legends delay have been so bad that even the developers that worked on the game showed up to join in on the action. One of these developers is Michel Ancel, the creator of Rayman. Ancel and other developers were spotted yesterday at a protest holding a sign that read “Sortez nous Rayman. Soutient a Ubi Montpellier.” Which translates to, “Release Rayman. Support Ubisoft Montpellier.” According to an unnamed source that supposedly used to work for Ubisoft Montpellier, the delay was a decision that the publishers made and that the dev team had nothing to do with it. Ubisoft has apologized for the delay and has promised Wii U owners an exclusive demo of the game.
Here’s the problem: Ubisoft hinted a few times last year that Rayman Legends would probably see releases on other consoles. In an interview last June, Ubisoft senior game manager Michael Micholic said “Well we’re not really saying it’s a Wii U exclusive, although right now all we’re showing is the Wii U [version].” This really shouldn’t come as a surprise since multiplatform releases are so common these days. Sure, it was nice back in the 90s when console exclusives were the norm but having multiplatform releases helps businesses reach a wider audience and helps gamers save money by not having to own every console.
In terms of this latest delay, this also should have been apparent as the game was originally planned for November 2012 but instead was pushed back to February 2013. Now it won’t be released until this Fall, primarily due to the fact that Ubisoft wants to release the all of the versions of Rayman Legends at the same time. However, the Wii U version of the game is already finished and it’s clear that the developers that have spoken out against Ubisoft actions want their fans to experience the game as soon as possible. This I can respect and is one of the only areas of this whole protest that I can agree with.
Fans better be happy that Michel Ancel and company have rallied to their cause because so many of these complaints are unwarranted and downright nasty. It was clear from the moment Rayman Legends was announced that this game was probably going to be available on every system. Furthermore, gamers will still be getting an exclusive experience on the Wii U with Rayman Legends because of the unique features found on the GamePad. Complaining to video game publishers can do some good, and these companies do need to learn how to treat their customers right, but resorting to ad hominem attacks and threats is not the way to go about it.
I’ll agree that this doesn’t necessarily make Ubisoft look good, especially since they canceled the game just weeks before it was supposed to come out, not to mention the fact that it’s finished. However, the rest of the problems aren’t even worth protesting about and fans should just move along.