Some months later, but still prior to the release of Rayman Legends on any platform, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot is opening up on the game's delay on Wii U. Bluntly stated, Guillemot makes clear that a Wii U exclusive Rayman would not sell well enough. He goes on to say that only now is the "quality there" due to the extra development time and that Rayman Legends is now one of the best games Ubisoft has ever done.
Here's Guillemot's full response, as provided by a VentureBeat interview:
"I’d probably participate more in that discussion. 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."
While I was expecting Guillemot to make the claim that delaying the Wii U version for a mult-platform release six months later would result in greater sales, I think it's pretty startling for him to say that only now is the game really good. As if the game six months ago, when the game's developers were requesting the game be set free, when previewers were saying it was the second coming of, well, Rayman Origins, were somehow something gamers would have been quite disappointed with. Ehh...
Also, even though I was expecting Guilletmot to make the claim that the game wouldn't sell well enough on Wii U I still think it's horse manure. A great game sells, then when you port it to other platforms it sells doubly because it's both a great game and because it's only been available in limited quantity. The decision to delay reeks of one thing: a business disagreement with Nintendo. Either Ubisoft wanted more money or Nintendo decided not to pay or something similar. You know, the one point Guillemot completely doesn't address in his response.
I don't doubt there were many outstanding reasons for Rayman Legends delay and I also don't doubt the game will still be outstanding -- better than outstanding -- when it's finally release. However, I dislike it when the elephant in the room is ignored and I'm told it's for the better. How about we discuss the elephant and then I get to decide if what happened was for my own betterment or not.
Rayman Legends will be coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U on September 3 -- same day on all platforms.