Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 22, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 22, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

 Rayman Legends  delayed once again as it drops Wii U exclusivity
Rayman Legends delayed once again as it drops Wii U exclusivity
February 8, 2013 | By Mike Rose

February 8, 2013 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

"I know it's not an elaborate, 'convincing' answer, but it's the simple truth."
- Ubisoft PR Sarah Irvin explains that the latest Rayman Legends delay is down to going multi-platform, rather than a development issue.

Ubisoft revealed this week that Rayman Legends, the sequel to one of Gamasutra's top games of 2011, has been delayed until September. The game has already been delayed before, and was previously meant as a Nintendo Wii U launch title.

But the lengthy delay isn't the main point that has caused furore online -- rather, it's the fact that the game has dropped its Wii U exclusivity, and is now headed to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

What has many Wii U users rattled is that the game is in fact ready to ship. This delay is simply down to making sure that the title releases across multi-platforms at the same time.

"There are no issues with the game development," Irvin told Digital Spy, adding, "the only reason for the delay is to release on multiple platforms."

"We usually release all of our platforms simultaneously (aside from PC)," she continued. "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."

Ubisoft has not explained exactly why it dropped the Wii U exclusivity, although it's not a huge stretch to assume that poor sales of the Wii U hardware factored into the decision.

Related Jobs

Avalanche Studios
Avalanche Studios — New York, New York, United States

UI Programmer
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at Dallas — Richardson, Texas, United States

Assistant/Associate Prof of Game Studies
Avalanche Studios
Avalanche Studios — New York, New York, United States

UI Artist/Designer
Nuclear Division
Nuclear Division — Sherman Oaks, California, United States

Director of Product Management


David Amador
profile image
So can we assume this is because Microsoft does not want to release multi-platform games previously released on other consoles?

Ujn Hunter
profile image
I'm pretty sure that's just for XBLA games, as Ninja Gaiden: Razor's Edge was announced that it was coming to PS3/Xbox 360 after it was originally Wii U exclusive.

profile image
Welcome to the party Gsutra...

"Ubisoft has not explained exactly why it dropped the Wii U exclusivity, although it's not a huge stretch to assume that poor sales of the Wii U hardware factored into the decision."

However...when we ASSUME!

BTW I have been doing some research into the numbers the Origin (of which Legends is a direct sequel to) game has done and it all starting to add up. Ubisoft has fumbled the ball (sports analogy... got to love em.)

This game has sold more on PS3 than any system worldwide. Now the totals of the game according to VGCharts as of the 26 Jan 2013 is:
Wii NA 0.16m
PS3 NA 0.25m (PS3 sold more worldwide)
X360 NA 0.27m

I don't know how accurate or credible VGChartz is but they are the only source in town I can find numbers. Now I don't know how many systems Ubisoft was willing to bet the Wii U would sale by the end of 3 months but it has sold under that as of now and that is not great news for them if they overestimated Nintendo own official estimations. What ever the thinking was I don't think this decision had much to do with the number of Wii U sold up to this point, but rather how much they could exploit the game for greater sales numbers. You see, Origins was a success despite its low overall worldwide multiplat sales, most likely do to low development cost needed to make the game. I think the backwards ports where going to come along anyway so that does not surprise me any. Publishers are sharks and will continue to operate like them. What surprises me is the delay of the original Wii U launch title. Why do that? Theoretically more sales (MONEY?) More time to polish? It would seem that if a game is done, you would want to sell it at the launch window of the hardware your pushing the game to use. It would seem that you would like to reap the benefits of a longer reward as the system grow in user base than seek a short term sales record and fizzle out down the road. But of course its going to have to come down to the exes to tell us the real thinking behind this crazy move that will pit their title against the likes of GTA V and CoD what ever is next...

Ubisoft CEO speaks to IGN:

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot tells IGN, "We’ll make sure that we unlock the potential of the new machines when they will be around." However, "We will continue to develop on older platforms, for sure...but the majority of our time and talent [will go] toward taking advantage of those new possibilities."

The cost of those next-gen titles, Guillemot says, likely won't cost much more than current-generation budgets, but that's likely to change as the install-base expands over time. The new consoles should allow "the number of customers to grow a lot, justifying larger investments in the future." [...] "I think the cost will continue to rise because the potential in front of us is huge." Guillemot continues, "The power the machines have is helping to make it easier to develop on. At the same time, the potential offered is enabling us to do a lot more."

Head of studio spills news at DICE to IGN spins story:

At the DICE summit in Vegas, IGN spoke with Xavier Poix, managing director of Ubisoft’s French studios (including Ubisoft Paris, Annecy and Rayman developer Montpellier) about the reasons behind both the delay and the move to multiple consoles.

“When we saw all the comments when we announced the game would be focused on Wii U, all of the people that have both the PlayStation 3 and 360 were really disappointed,” Poix told IGN. “So we thought it was making more sense to also bring the game to where it was originally from. That means Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. So we decided to go for a multiplatform launch simultaneously.”

he goes on to say...

“It’s a different kind of experience if you have the Wii U,” Poix said. “Obviously there will be cooperation on the PS3 and 360, but on the Wii U there is still this MAGIC of having one player that can play on one system with a new experience and the other on the usual game pad. That stays a Wii U exclusive for sure, by definition.”

Personally I don't think what was said between the two of them adds up in this debacle, but the court of public opinion is out on this one, and it doesn't look good for Ubisoft. Don't know if this refutes any assumptions but I tried my best.

VG numbers for Rayman Origions PS3:

Ujn Hunter
profile image
Poor move Ubi. I'll be canceling my pre-order (that's been on order since I pre-ordered my Wii U) and will be awaiting a bargin bin purchase. Hope this move works out for you in the long run.

Michael Pianta
profile image
Pretty much for me too. No malice intended but I have a lot of other games I expect to be buying in September/October and don't see any reason to leave my $10 sitting in GameStop's coffers for 7 months either.

Russell Carroll
profile image
Also no longer buying or if I do I'll be buying it used to ensure Ubi doesn't get an additional sale.

This is a huge PR mistake for Ubisoft, no apology or even acknowledgement of Wii U users in their statements about bringing it to other platforms. Ubi ONLY talked to PS360 users, completely ignoring Wii U users.
That's pretty astounding, apparently the Nintendo crowd didn't even deserve a "I'm sorry" in Ubi's eyes.
Very poorly thought-out maneuver. Ubi should have just released the game then released the "Legendary" edition later this year with PS360 content.

I think they may as well cancel the game at this point. The probability of it earning money has just been materially hurt, and the first one didn't set the world on fire in terms of sales to begin with.

Adam Bishop
profile image
Someone claiming to be a dev on the game says that the studio was made to crunch for months to have the game ready for February, only to now have the finished game sitting on the shelf for months.

profile image
It's a PR disaster. The game might be best on Wii U and worthless as ports to older legacy hardware. But I don't think their marketing department figured that some of the early adopters bought a Wii U just to play this game on time. Well see if one disgruntle worker turns into 2 or 3. then we will know the real depth of the failure.

Chris Hendricks
profile image
My first experience playing a Wii U game was the Rayman Legends demo on a mall kiosk (mostly because it was the only game that was actually available as a demo). And now it's being delayed until almost a year after the Wii U launches? Why?