Rayman Legends Delay: Who it Affects and Why it May Have Been a Bad Move

     Just two days ago, Ubisoft announced one piece of information that shocked and surprised gamer's across the world while initiating rage from the developers of Rayman Legends. This piece of information was the fact that Ubisoft decided to delay its triple-A title, Rayman Legends, by 7 months in order to release it simultaneously with its just-announced XBOX 360 and PS3 counterparts. If you haven't heard of this game already, Rayman Legends is the sequel to the game Rayman Origins, and this is a game that was supposed to be exclusive to Nintendo's brand-new gaming console, the Nintendo Wii U. With this news came protests of this delay, a delay that was announced a few mere weeks before the game's launch, and anger from many fans, especially from those early Wii U adopters who only bought the system for this game. In response to this, Ubisoft's public relation's specialist Sarah Irvin even clarified why this delay happened for the Wii U version, and she had to say the following:

"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."

"We usually release all of our platforms simultaneously (aside from PC). We've made special exception sometimes in the past but it's definitely just on a case by case basis and not our standard practice.

"In this case, Ubisoft recently decided they wanted to release the game on multiple platforms so the decision was made to launch them all at the same time rather than separately.

"I know it's not an elaborate, 'convincing' answer, but it's the simple truth."

CREDIT: Digital Spy & Sarah Irvin

     While it's always a good thing to have games release on multiple platforms and I, myself, don't mind this, but this is a huge middle finger to everybody who has been waiting patiently for this game's release and even the developers for working overtime just to get the game ready for its February release. They even said that they're going to release an exclusive Wii U demo of the game just to appease us fans who are angry at them for delaying a completed game! Although I'm not yet a Wii U owner (but will be in late June and have been anticipating the release of Rayman Legends), I'm here to discuss, first, the topic on who Ubisoft's decision affects and then why it may have been a bad move on the company's part.


Who Does Ubisoft's Decision Affect?

The Fans

     When you first hear of a delay like this one, the first thing that people think about is themselves and how they have to wait longer to play the game they've been waiting for. In this case, the fans that have been anticipating this game for months (or even since it was announced) heard about this news a few weeks before its initial release and now have to wait yet another 7 months for nothing new to be added to a completed game. On top of all of that, Ubisoft even promised that this would be a Wii U exclusive and would be released on February 26th, 2013, but Ubisoft broke this promise to their fans. Sure, this decision is also supposed to "broaden the audience exposed to this innovative and memorable game" by releasing it on the XBOX 360 and PS3, but this unnecessary delay for the Wii U version makes us fans have to wait even longer for no reason. This news is even worse if you are one of the early Wii U adopters and only bought the Wii U for Rayman Legends. You scraped up the money needed for the price of admission for a Wii U in order to play a game you've been waiting for on its launch day, but you ended up spending your money on something you won't be using for another 7 months just because Ubisoft delayed the game. It's truly unacceptable for us, the people who pay their paychecks.

The Developers

     These might not be the people you'd originally think of when a delay like this is announced, but, according to one of the developers of Rayman Legends, the whole development crew is enraged at the news of this delay. This developer claims that the development crew had to work many hours overtime in order to complete the game by the February deadline, but, after hearing of the delay, all of that hard work overtime felt like it was for nothing. All of that time that they spent away from their family and friends was for nothing. Imagine if you were in one of their shoes and what your reactions to Ubisoft's decision would have been. Well, if I was one of them, I know that I would be angry after the big man tells me that. It just isn't right if the developers, the people that make the CEO his big, fat check, have to suffer this much to deliver us fans a game that we want by the February deadline only to have been given more time at the last minute.  


     The people who were hurt probably just as much as the developers were after Ubisoft's announcement were Nintendo themselves. Nintendo has been working hard on bringing third-party exclusives to Nintendo's brand-new console, and they signed a deal with Ubisoft to release Rayman Legends for the Nintendo Wii U as an exclusive. This was supposed to be one of the triple-A titles headed to the Wii U as an exclusive so it can lure people into buying a Wii U, but this exclusivity agreement was broken after Thursday. Ubisoft pretty much just told Nintendo something that would greatly help them only to have Ubisoft turn their backs. Although the Wii U version will be superior to the XBOX 360 and PS3 version (partly because it was made for the Wii U from the ground up), this still will make Nintendo lose some money from fans who would just buy the XBOX 360 or PS3 version rather than buying a Wii U and then buying Rayman Legends for the Wii U.  In addition to this, partnerships between Ubisoft and Nintendo might even happen much less often in the future due to how untrustworthy Ubisoft was with the exclusivity deal.


Why it May Have Been a Bad Move

It's Releasing Near GTA V's Release and Other Wii U Games

     One of the reasons why it was good for Rayman Legends to release by the end of this month is the fact that it has no competition. It's only one fish in a small pond. This means that more people will buy it when it's not competing with other triple-A titles. If you take a look at what's coming this September, Grand Theft Auto V is supposed to be released. That alone is a bad business move. Grand Theft Auto V is meant to be a must-have title that so many people already want. If it releases during the time that that game releases, sales will drop because less people will buy it due to people being too busy with GTA V. If you don't believe this, then just take a look at what plagued Rayman Origins' launch back in 2011. That game released during the time when Skyrim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 released, which caused a dip in its sales due to most people being too busy with those games and possibly not having the money to buy Origins. Rayman Origins only sold 50,000 copies in its first month on shelves, which wasn't good although Ubisoft found it profitable. In addition to releasing with Grand Theft Auto V, it may also release with other high quality Wii U titles. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD remake may release in that month or maybe even the new Mario game Nintendo promised us. It could even release with one of the many unannounced games coming to the Wii U. Also, don't forget about upcoming games like The Wonderful 101. Imagine how many copies Rayman Legends would sell in its first month on store shelves with GTA V and other upcoming Wii U games. Yeah, it won't sell as many as it would if it released this February with no competition.

Wii U Sales and Rayman Legends' Sales Will Drop

     Although people who don't own a Wii U will be able to buy Rayman Legends and play it for themselves, this decision really will make sales for the game, apart from being released near Grand Theft Auto V, drop along with sales for the Wii U itself to drop. Sure, the game will probably cost $60 a pop on each console (maybe $50 on the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 since it is inferior to the Wii U version) but less people will buy the game. Why, you may ask? First of all, I doubt that many people will actually buy the XBOX 360 or PS3 version of the game because it's going to be inferior to the Wii U version. The XBOX 360 and PS3 are weaker than the Wii U, meaning specs like the graphics and frame rate will have to be downscaled to fit the systems. There also is the fact that the Wii U has the GamePad while the XBOX and PlayStation don't, meaning that they'll have to change how the game plays to fit the system. There always is the XBOX 360 with Smartglass and PS3 with PS Vita alternative that can mimic what the Wii U does, but most people don't have both of those (or even want both of those) and it's not as good as using the GamePad with the Wii U. Because of this, not as many people will buy it as they would if it were originally made for those systems. People have been claiming that they won't buy the game after this delay, which I don't see why but it's the truth. Also, the Wii U's sales will drop because of this. Many people bought/would've bought a Wii U just for this game or for this game and other games. If they can get it on their XBOX or PlayStation, then they might just ignore the Wii U because they can get it in another form. What originally could have been over 3 million people buying the Wii U version now might drop to half or more than half that amount of sales. This could even affect the sales of other Wii U games made by Ubisoft because less people would've bought a Wii U, henceforth, less people would buy their games. That's less likely but it can happen because of this.  When it comes to the sales for both the Wii U and the Wii U version of this game, Ubisoft really shot themselves and Nintendo in the foot. 

Future Partnerships with Nintendo Might not Happen as Often

     As I mentioned when I was talking about how this decision affects Nintendo, the future partnerships between Nintendo and Ubisoft might not happen as often as they would if this never happened, which is a real shame when considering how much talent both of the companies have. Nintendo probably doesn't like how Ubisoft decided to make it a multiplatform release rather than a Wii U exclusive like how it should've been. Nintendo were working collaboratively with Ubisoft on trying to secure Rayman Legends as a Wii U exclusive, only to have that work go down the drain and affect Nintendo's newest console. Because of this, Ubisoft's trustworthiness with Nintendo just dropped and Nintendo might not trust them with future projects, which is a real shame. Their trustworthiness with other companies might have dropped, too. Other companies can just look at what Ubisoft did to Nintendo and might not even trust to work with them (other than Sony and Microsoft, of course). Ubisoft's future with partnering with other companies just got slimmer, which isn't something that I like to hear but is something that is true.  

It's a Waste of Time and Resources

     As the saying goes, "time is money," and Ubisoft is really wasting their time and resources by starting on an XBOX 360 and PS3 version at the last minute. If they started on it earlier (maybe a year ago or 7 months ago), then it would be all good, but starting on them now wasn't a very good decision. First of all, in the amount of time it takes for them to work on an XBOX and PlayStation version of the game now, they could start working on another game. They could've made another Rayman game, a sequel to one of their franchises, or even a new IP altogether. They're even making another demo of the game for the Wii U, which wastes even more time and resources for nothing. This news also aggravated the developers, meaning they might not do a very good job on porting it to the XBOX 360 and PS3, thus wasting their resources used for creating those versions. So, when you look at the decision to start porting it to the XBOX and PS3 right now, it really will waste their time and resources although it still is a good thing that it is coming to the XBOX 360 and PS3.


     When you take a look at all of the pieces of the puzzle, Ubisoft made a very poor decision of delaying the game and starting on an XBOX 360 and PS3 version now. If there's anyone who is responsible for all of this, we all know that they are the people higher up in Ubisoft like the CEO. The developers certainly aren't who are responsible and Nintendo (obviously) aren't either; it's all because of the CEO and the people in a high position at Ubisoft. As much as I'm angry about this delay as the next guy, Ubisoft's decisions typically won't change if it's something like this, regardless of how much their fans want it to. I just wanted to say thank you Ubisoft; thank you for lying to your fans, overworking your employees, and lying to Nintendo about making it an exclusive. If you want to fix everything you have done so far, just go back to releasing it this month as an exclusive or release it this month for the Wii U and later for the XBOX 360 and PS3 version. Sure, Microsoft's multi-platform policy is in the way but you could try and find a loophole to it or something. I know that I'll still be buying Rayman Legends, regardless of the delay, but this wasn't a good decision on their part. Only time will tell what exactly will happen as a result of this announcement but one thing that we already can see is that it's not going to look pretty in their future with Rayman Legends.