In a surprising piece of news, Ubisoft has announced that Rayman Legends will no longer be a Wii U exclusive title and, in addition, will have its release date pushed into September–a seven month delay.
Initially, Rayman Legends was going to be a Wii U launch title when Nintendo‘s next gen console released last November. The game was delayed and given a solid release date of Feb. 26, only a few weeks away.
The news of a delay shocked and confused many Wii U gamers. Not only was a playable demo for the game available since Dec. 13, the delay has been announced so close to release. Even at the time of this writing, the Rayman Legends website shows the release date of Feb. 26.
Many wondered if the delay was a result of issues with production because a game so close to release should not be pushed back several months. Of course, the multiplatform announcement is seen as the chief reason. Ubisoft has had very little to say on the news. The company said there were no issues with development and the delay came because they prefer to release games on all platforms simultaneously (with the PC being an obvious exception).
Ubisoft’s spokesperson said of the delay, “I know it’s not an elaborate, ‘convincing’ answer, but it’s the simple truth.”
The somewhat hollow acknowledgement has done little to help the backlash felt by many Wii U gamers who feel snubbed by Ubisoft. The company’s Facebook page is filled with negative comments ranging from simple disappointment, outrage, bashing the developer, and some claiming they will never purchase another Ubisoft game again. The general consensus is that Rayman Legends for the Wii U should not be delayed just so it can release at the same time as the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.
When it was announced, Rayman Legends was seen as a system seller for the Wii U. The game was going to build upon the critical acclaim of Rayman Origins and incorporate the Wii U GamePad in unique ways. The multiplatform release might also be indicative of Ubisoft pulling some of their initial support from Nintendo’s console due to it performing below expectations in sales.
Though the news is good for Sony and Microsoft fans who wanted to get their hands on Rayman Legends, it will certainly sting unhappy Wii U owners for quite some time. Truth be told, Ubisoft could have handled the situation much better and shown a bit more good will towards those who expected to be playing the game in a matter of weeks. Some sort of explanation as to why the delay would be so long might have appeased a few gamers.
It’s also worth noting that Ubisoft is choosing to release Rayman Legends in the same month that Rockstar will be releasing GTA 5. Do they want to have their game up against such a high profile release? Hopefully the delay will also give Ubisoft time to make the game even better.