Rayman Legends Delayed, But Here's A Silver Lining

Those of us who got Wii U systems last November were supposed to reach an oasis today in our crawl through the machine's oh-so-typical year-one software desert. We were supposed to be playing the sidescroller Rayman: Legends right now.

We're not. The game was recently, painfully delayed to Q4 2013.

If it reduces the sting at all, folks, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot at least told me that the game is still being worked on. He says it's not, as some feared, sitting somewhere entirely finished and just waiting for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions to be made. "The Wii U the team is working hard on the Wii U [version] to make sure it continues to improve, so it can become one of the best Wii U games," he told me at last Wednesday's PlayStation 4 kick-off event, after we chatted about Sony's new console. "We hope it can be one of the top games Ubisoft creates."

The game's recent delay infuriated Wii U fans who wanted what they hoped would be a very good game during an otherwise very slow time for the new console. Many fans assumed the game was done and Ubisoft hasn't tried very hard to counter that impression. The idea that a possibly-finished game might be held back made things worse, sparking online protests and even an in-person one at the game's Ubisoft studio in France. The publisher eventually extended an olive branch, offering a free online version of the game — its "challenge" mode — for Wii U owners for release this April. "I think the free version will just be amazing," Guillemot told me, saying it will have "very social gameplay that I think people will love."

It's still not clear what triggered the delay, and Guillemot didn't clearly state to me that the game couldn't have come out for Wii U right now. Rather, he made it sound like, regardless of the reason for delay, that the game would improve.

"What's very important to consider is that," he said, "when a team has more time, they are able to continue to improve the quality of the game. When we saw we had more time, we saw all of the possibilities. Some of the possibilities are the social features that we are seeing today, but also new bosses, new possibilities that will take the game to a level that people will love." Why he referenced social features shown "today" — the day of the Sony press conference — for the PS4, when we were ostensibly discussing a Wii U game, is unclear to me. The sense I got was that he was referring to the basic idea of making games more connected, something Ubisoft did superbly with their Wii U launch game ZombiU — not that he was alluding to a possible PS4 version of Legends.

I think some Wii U fans might prefer to have even a half-decent version of Legends now instead of nothing. Year one of owning a new console... it ain't a picnic.


Comments

    Does anyone honestly believe Ubisoft, in that the product Wii U gets at the end of the year isn’t the same as what was already due out? Maybe we’ll get a new Facebook button, whoop-de-freakin-doo.

    By then there will be first party games out that will overshadow the Wii U version.

    By then everything else on the other consoles will overshadow the other versions.

    Hell, I'll probably wait for the iOS version.

    I thought Ubisoft really put pressure on the devs to finish then only to decide to delay it so it could release with the PS3 & 360 version.

    I think there was also a dev on reddit who explained this because fans were pretty pissed with the devs.

    This is probably an issue with Wii Us small install base. The numbers aren't what Ubi were expecting so they decided to go multiplatform.

    Finally, isn't Q4 a pretty packed time of year? Does Ubi think Legends can compete with all of the other titles coming in Q4?

    Last edited 27/02/13 5:05 pm

      Wii U may have a smaller install base, but I don't think that has a huge amount to do with the situation when you consider they are releasing the multiplayer component free for all Wii U users next month.

      Clearly something went wrong somewhere, and if anything, I do believe it has more to do with the case that they wanted to do a simultaneous multiplatform release. Just delaying it gave them more time to add more content or fix some areas they weren't happy with.

        Of course install base would be a big deal. Small install base = low sales. People don't buy games for platforms they don't own.

        They're releasing the MP component because the outrage was palpable. It's an attempt to placate all of the suckers who went out and bought a Wii U looking forward to a Rayman exclusive. I am just glad I wasn't one, though I almost was.

    The game is still being worked on... So they were going to release an unfinished version? But just because they decided to release it on all platforms did they decide it could do with some improvement. Something smells fishy...

      Maybe they're just adding bonus levels or a new game mode or something. Maybe something that was planned as DLC is now being worked directly into the game.

        Hopefully... but maybe they'll still have DLC... Either way, not happy about the delay...
        EDIT: IF there is a reasonable amount of DLC /extra content that WiiU owners get for free when the game releases (not just an early release of stuff that is already in the game) then that might make up for it, but the extra stuff would need to be pretty good (and there would need to be a lot of it).

        Last edited 27/02/13 10:01 pm

    The thing is I wanted this game, but now due to Ubisoft's move to delay a finished game I won't. Yes it might be spitful but leigh hit the nail on the head by the end of the year we will have Wind Waker, and possibly SSB.

    I noticed you didn't mention the Wii U is still getting the multiplayer mode free next month and exclusively until the full game launches? Ubi announced this a couple of weeks back now. So while it is delayed they are atleast trying to do something for its fans!

    And lets be honest, Freebies are always a good start.

      Oh, i agree, freebies are amazing. But I at least want a valid reason why a finished game isn't being released. Marketing is not a reason as They still need to do marketing twice anyways, as all the marketing for Wii U has already been done (E3, ads, demo, etc).

        How about money? If they expect a large amount of the revenue to come from X360/PS3, then they might feel they won't be able to charge full price for that game if it is on the shelf next to a deeply discounted 6 month old Wii U copy of the same game.

    The argument of the smaller WiiU install base doesn't fly. I'll tell you why....

    So 3 million WiiU users out there roughly?

    Given the current games drought, what percentage of that 3 mil would have snapped this up? I won't guess a figure, but I'm sure it would have been quite high. Rayman had the chance to be the highest selling game on the console. Effectively snaring thousands if not millions more to their IP. Now its all up in the air.

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