Despite having known about the possibility of this happening for a few weeks now, it shocked me how angry I still was then this was announced yesterday. So angry in fact that I thought it best to sleep on it before I wrote this blog. Rayman Legends, one of the few games that really embraced what the Wii U was all about, has been delayed until September so that it can be released on all major formats.
Before I start, I want to make one plea to the masses. Don't be angry at the development team. The two Wii U teams at Ubisoft Montpellier are some of the most talented people I have ever met. The Studio team brought us ZombiU.
The Villa team, led by the legendary Michel Ancel, have been beavering away on Rayman Legends for some time now. They are one of the most passionate, friendly, dedicate teams I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
When I visited them last August I quietly watched from afar as Ancel led a creative debrief. They didn't even know I was there and it was amazing to watch how excited they were about the new Rayman developments. They're the kind of team that really deserves to be under a Nintendo umbrella. They were one of the few teams who jumped on the Wii U with all guns blazing. Whether it was the GamePad usage, multiplayer or NFC experimentation, the Villa team were there at the forefront.
Don't blame the developers
The team have been working their behinds off to get this game finished in time for its 28 Feb launch and you can be sure that the decision to delay the game came as a massive shock to them. I feel really bad for them but I also feel really sorry for the PR and marketing types who have worked with us to promote the game, market a demo and get the various builds and assets out to people over the past six months. The presence of a playable demo proves that the game was very close to being finished and was in 'launch phase'.
This decision had nothing to do with any of these people and, as with so many bad decisions in this world, it was made by someone who is completely separate from the roots level processes and makes a call based on a spreadsheet. Hey, that's business. Difficult decisions have to be made but this was the wrong decision.
As far as brand exercises go, this was a bad one and Ubisoft is going to find it hard to rebuild the faith that has been lost.
Ultimately, the anger doesn't stem from the fact that this game is no longer an exclusive.
We all knew deep down that it would come out on other formats eventually. It's the nature of the delay and the way in which Ubisoft has gone about it that has angered people.
Rayman Legends was a reason to buy a Wii U