By now you will all have heard of the Rayman Legends delay/exclusivity news, I couldn’t help myself but to give my thoughts on the whole thing. The fact that the game is now heading to the PS3 & Xbox 360 wasn’t surprising at all, when I think of an exclusive the names Ubisoft, Capcom or Activision are the last things on my mind. There’s nothing wrong with porting over a game, all it does is ensure that a larger audience will now have access to the game so unless you’re some kind of fanboy it’s hard to get angry over such things.
What confuses me the most is why Rayman Legends was announced as an exclusive in the first place, the original Rayman Origins came out on multiple systems so why would the sequel all of a sudden go exclusive? This isn’t a Bayonetta 2 situation where Nintendo actively stepped in to make such a game possible, Rayman Legends is developed by and published by Ubisoft so there’s no real reason for them to pretend to be an exclusive title.
Since news break out regarding the game’s delay broke out there’s been numerous stories popping out on the internet so let’s take a look at the most interesting one to begin with.
The following was posted by Xavier (which is a fantastic name if I do say so myself) under the alias Zeta69 on Spanish forum which has since then been translated by NeoGAF member Beje. Xavier served as one of the developers on Rayman Legends.
I completely understand you but you have to understand one thing. This is not a decision taken by the development team, this comes from really really high up, so please don’t pick on the game.
If you’re pissed, imagine how we feel. Think on the situation, we’ve been making overtime with this game practically since May preparing E3, and then almost a demo per month (gamescon, Wii U presentation, shops, eShop, etc…) and at the same time trying to actually finish the game. We had a first delay because it was obvious we couldn’t finish on time but we gave it all to be there on February. What face do you think we had when the week we had to close the game we’re being told it’s not going to be released? I couldn’t believe it.
For practical matters, you’ll have to wait for some months for the game to be released and will most likely serve for more content to be added and do it better. For us, this means we’ve spent 6 months barely seeing our wifes, kids, and friends for nothing because, after all, such a haste wasn’t needed. Believe it, it was a hell to swallow these news.
Even then I’m firm in what I said back in the day, Rayman Legends is an excellent game and will still be, and the team that’s making it doesn’t deserve to have your back turned on them just because some men in ties one day took a wrong choice. This industry is really that shitty.
As you can see it’s rather upsetting to see the team work so hard to get the game done only to be told they’ll have another seven months to finish it. Though not 100% confirmed Xavier’s post does give a very strong indication that the game was going to be hitting it’s February/March release date as planned so why delay the game at all?
It turns out that the Wii U version of Rayman Legends is more or less complete and the cause of the delay is nothing more than just stalling for time so the PS3 & Xbox 360 versions of the game can catch up and have a simultaneous release across all platforms. It’s quiet frankly a bit of a slap in the face of Wii U owners including myself who now have to wait for no reason.
Digital Spy contacted Ubisoft regarding the matter and received the following reply from a representative.
There are no issues with the game development. All of the information was in the press release, the only reason for the delay is to release on multiple platforms.
All of the hate shouldn’t be directed at simply Ubisoft but Microsoft may in fact have a part to play in this, in case you didn’t know Microsoft reserve the right to demand publishers to release multiplatform software simultaneously with Xbox 360 releases. There is NOTHING to suggest that Microsoft is to blame here but it’s something worth noting, actually it might only apply to XBLA titles.
So what’s my thoughts on this entire mess?
Unfortunately there’s a whole host of angry Nintendo fanboys on the internet causing a scene regarding the exclusive nature of Rayman Legends. I’m terribly sorry if you actually thought Rayman Legends was going to stay exclusive but we all knew it was only a matter of time, I laughed when Ubisoft claimed Assassin’s Creed was a PS3 exclusive and I laughed again when they told us Rayman Legends would be a Wii U exclusive.
Personally I think the age of 3rd party exclusives should fade away, there’s no reason to dismiss a certain chunk of your potential audience. I understand if Rayman Legends were co-developed or perhaps funded by Nintendo then it could stay as an exclusive but it’s not therefore release it on any capable platforms and let the game be as successful as it can be.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m just as annoyed as anyone mainly due to the fact the Wii U version is just sitting there somewhere at Ubisoft in what is essentially a complete state. The game was designed for the Wii U in mind and anyone who played the demo knows it’s a fantastic show piece for the Wii U, it’s exactly what the system needs. It’s not a shit late port, it’s an actual “we put some effort into this one” game for the Wii U.
Launching the game in September alongside the other versions ultimately takes away the uniqueness of Rayman Legends, launching in February/March as a Wii U exclusive allows the game and it’s innovative use of the gamepad to shine. It obviously benefits the Wii U and it also makes it clear what makes Rayman Legends different from Origins.
Ubisoft have opted to launch the game in September which is the same damn month as Grand Theft Auto V, a silly move in my opinion and when it does arrive it will be seen as just another multiplatform release. The game’s unique use of the GamePad won’t be highlighted and the general reaction will be “Oh, Wii U version has a couple of extras”. I do think that a timed exclusive would of benefited the game in the end.
If it were me I’d launch Rayman Legends as intended on the Wii U considering it’s complete and the team obviously worked very hard to make it so. The game would have plenty of time to shine and it’s innovative features would be all the more obvious to consumers. I’d go ahead with the Xbox 360 & PS3 releases later in the year to pick up the extra sales and make sure everyone who wanted to experience Rayman Legends could without being left out. Maybe I’d give Xbox 360 & PS3 versions a couple of extra levels as a “thank you for waiting” and then offer them up as DLC for Wii U owners sometime before Christmas.
I think we can all agree that Rayman Legends is looking fantastic, it’s a shame Ubisoft have made such a mess of things and decided to make Wii U owners wait until September for no reason. Unless you’re some kind of asshole I don’t think Xbox 360 & PS3 owners would of minded if Wii U got the game first, they should just be happy they are getting the game too somewhere down the line.
Come September I’m still going to pick up a copy of Rayman Legends and all of you should too, if possible pick it up on the Wii U because it really does make great use of that GamePad. No matter what system you buy Rayman Legends on rest assured that it’s a fantastic love letter to fans of quality 2D platformers from the 16-Bit era.
Just ignore those last 4 seconds