It has been a few days since Ubisoft made the highly controversal and widely hated decision to delay Rayman Legends for the Wii U. I don’t personally own a Wii U, so I was excited when they announced a multi-platform release. However, I completely understand the point of view of anyone who has gotten a Wii U with the understanding that Rayman Legends, previously a Wii U exclusive, would be coming this month. I’ll go on record right now and say this:
“Ubisoft, what in the bloody hell are you doing?”
I’m not against delays, as usually that means that the game is being refined and bugs are ironed out, and I love that developers are that dedicated to gamers. But delaying a nearly finished game is a backhanded slap across developers’ and gamers’ faces alike. Okay, I understand that the Wii U has really not been doing that well sales-wise, but no system really does upon release. Look at the 3DS. Gamers want content, and the Wii U doesn’t have a strong lineup as it stands right now. But Rayman was certainly going to better that library, as well as the inclusion of Lego Undercover on March 18th, so I predict sales would pick up for the Wii U astronomically with those games. (Hell, I want a Wii U just because of Lego Undercover). Rayman would have been icing on the cake of upcoming Wii U releases.
Ubisoft wants to gain more money, which is fine. Make the game multiplatform and cash-in. Rayman Origins was great, so Rayman Legends should sell well. But wouldn’t it make more sense to release the Wii U version as scheduled, which is nearly complete, to appease those developers that worked really hard? And then September, you’d release it across all platforms? Many companies have done that in the past, and it worked fine. But, this is not the issue. The problem is Ubisoft is unknowingly releasing Rayman Legends to die a painful death, and here’s why.
Releasing a game in my opinion requires strategy, and it’s not just a case of “if the game is finished, let’s ship it.” Companies want to avoid going head-to-head with competitors that have the firepower to overshadow it. I see you readers nodding; you know where I’m going here. Arguably the most anticipated game of this year, Grand Theft Auto V, was delayed and set for September 17th, 2013. This delay was not in the same nature as Ubisoft. Rockstar wants to better the game and make it amazing, which means Rayman Legends is in even bigger trouble. If Rayman releases alongside GTA V, then that’s a losing battle. There is no way that it can stand toe-to-toe with a mega-franchise like Grand Theft Auto, and I predict that Rayman Legends will be overshadowed by the hype for GTA5, and sales will suffer greatly.
Let’s not forget that in the coming months, we are destined to learn of more release dates for games. I’m positive that we will see some more triple-A caliber games for September and Rayman Legends getting pushed back even further. In fact, it has recently been revealed that Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix, that features 2 full Kingdom Hearts titles and extra cutscenes in high definition glory, is releasing for the fall. September 21st is the beginning of fall. But let me contradict a prediction I made, for argument’s sake and to show how unpredictable the industry can be. What if the upcoming Final Fantasy at E3 is in fact Final Fantasy Versus 13, but instead of jumping to the Playstation 4 as I predict, what if they decide to release it in time for the holidays, namely September? Another highly anticipated game to overshadow Rayman Legends, and in my opinion, the nail in the coffin. Ubisoft made a horrible move with this decision, and in my opinion, they are offering Rayman as a sacrifice to the Rockstar Gods. The developers worked hard, night and day, making this game as beautiful as Rayman Origins was, only to be overshadowed by Grand Theft Auto V and have their work underappreciated.
Ubisoft is going to be releasing another demo to Wii U owners in the form of a Challenge online mode that would be in the game at release to my understanding, which blows my mind. So now, they are basically releasing half the game, and keeping the other half for themselves until September. In a preview for Rayman Legends, it states that “Rayman is showing Mario how it’s done” which apparently is in reference to how to commit gaming suicide.
What do you guys think? Do you agree with me in that Ubisoft are setting Rayman up to just die? Let me know in the comments!