It’s not been an easy ride for Wii U owners since Nintendo’s latest home console was released last November. The revolutionary and exciting games we were promised (and in some cases even shown!) haven’t yet materialized, while other really cool games have finally been debuted at E3, only to still be tantalizingly out of reach with late 2013 or sometime-in-2014 release dates.
Worse, exclusive games that we thought we’d get at launch haven’t been released yet, and are no longer exclusive. Okay, no more vague third-person plural: I’m talking about Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends, and I’ve long suspected that the publisher’s decision to take away the Wii U’s exclusivity and delay it by close to a year after the console’s launch has had to do with the company’s lack of faith in the system’s health. And a post on GamesBeat today would seem to confirm this PRECISELY.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot spoke candidly about why Rayman Legends was delayed and brought to multiple platforms, cutting Nintendo’s hopes for an exclusive third-party killer app down to size:
“What happened was that we saw the Wii U was not going to sell enough of those games. The game is going to be fantastic, and we didn’t want those creators to wind up in a position where even after making a fantastic game, they didn’t sell well enough. We decided that we had to come out on enough machines that players can try it out on any one that they have, and give more time to both improve the game on the Wii U and create versions for the other consoles.
I think it was the right decision for gamers and for the team. My role is to make sure that the team is happy with the quality of the work they do and the reach they can have. The quality is there now, because they had more time. They’ve expanded the possibilities of the game. It’s much bigger content-wise. We have new bosses in key levels and so on. The experience is much more complete. I think it will be one of the best games we’ve ever done.
Sometimes we have to go against the urge to get to market too fast. We have to make sure we give enough time and resources to our creators to they can reach the potential in their games. This time, they were very close to excellence, but not quite there.”
I can’t blame Guillemot for wanting the game to sell as well as possible—not anymore, at least. But, again, it’s tough to sell a system without must-have software that can only be found there. Hopefully the Wii U’s forthcoming exclusives from Platinum games, Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101, will do the job that Rayman Legends should’ve done.
At the very least, it’s nice to hear Guillemot actually come out and say what we’ve long been suspecting: that developers and publishers are staying the heck away from the Wii U until it can demonstrate a better performance. And while it pains me as a Wii U owner, I have to say, t doesn’t surprise me.