Rayman Legends Delayed to September
Bad news for Wii U owners: the eagerly awaited Ubisoft-made platformer Rayman Legends, has been delayed yet again, now set to come out in September rather than March. If that weren’t bad enough, the game is no longer exclusive to the Wii U, now set for release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The press release Ubisoft published doesn’t offer up an explanation for the delay, but a quote from Ubisoft’s Geoffroy Sardin does attempt to explain why the game that was once Wii U exclusive is now appearing on multiple platforms:
“We heard from many Xbox & PlayStation owners and Rayman fans who told us they really wanted to play Rayman Legends on their current system. We decided to give the fans what they wanted while at the same time broadening the audience exposed to this innovative and memorable game.”
I have no doubt that gamers wanted to play this on the platforms they already owned…but wasn’t the whole point of Rayman Legends coming out exclusively for the Wii U to actually spur sales of the Wii U? I thought that was the main idea behind exclusive games—especially those that come out at launch.
Here is my THEORY. The Wii U is not selling super-duper hot. Not that it’s doing poorly per se, but it’s far from the white-lightning money-machine that the Wii was during its launch. Slow console sales equal slow software sales, and a Wii U exclusive game like ZombiU doesn’t get as many purchases as Ubisoft would like.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the company took a look at the amount of money being invested in developing for the Wii U, and wondering whether or not they’re going to make enough of a profit, let alone enough of their development money back. A multiplatform release is undoubtedly a safer route for the company’s bottom line. But it most certainly could be interpreted as flagging confidence in Nintendo’s new console. It seems doubtful that the delay is related simply to more work needed on the game—especially if Ubisoft’s going to be making the game for other consoles at the same time, a process that would be made all the harder if the first version of the game isn’t even done yet. This feels financial.
All this on the heels of news that Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, another former Wii U-exclusive, would be hitting Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this April. So far, that’s only two exclusive games jumping ship. Wii U owners worried about the longevity of their new systems better hope it stops there.
Last—how the heck is Ubisoft going to work out the GamePad specific functionality of Rayman Legends for PS3 and Xbox 360? I can see it working out with the Vita somehow…but other than that, I’m stumped. Stay tuned for more information as it comes out.