What do BioShock Infinte, Splinter Cell Blacklist, and Grand Theft Auto 5 have in common? For fans who have been following those games for any length of time, the answer should be easy to guess: they’ve all been delayed well past their original release targets. As longtime gamers are far too aware, video games get delayed all the time. Granted, such delays are often unwelcome news, but generally speaking, the rationale behind postponing a particular game usually makes sense. Most commonly, it’s simply so the development team has time to deliver a technically sound, polished final product. That’s exactly what Rockstar had to say about the GTA 5 delay. The same is true of BioShock Infinite.
Rayman Legends is another story. By Ubisoft’s own admission, the completed game – once a Wii U exclusive due to release on February 26th – is being held back for nearly seven months only so that it can launch day and date with newly announced Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ports.
Delays may be standard operating procedure in the games industry, but the reaction to Rayman Legend‘s new “early September” release date has been extraordinary. Scores of Rayman fans have bombarded the Ubisoft Facebook page and the publisher’s Uplay Miiverse community with messages of frustration, anger and disappointment – so much so that Ubisoft had no choice but to respond, which it did, promising a “new, exclusive” Rayman Legends Wii U demo to help take some of the sting out of the game’s delay.
Throughout this unfortunate procession of events, one voice has remained conspicuously quiet: that of Rayman creator Michel Ancel. At the time of this writing, Ancel still hasn’t verbally addressed the Legends delay. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t made his feelings on the matter clear. If, as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, then Ancel has said his peace.
That’s him on the left in the photo at the top of this page. Below, members of Ancel’s Ubisoft Montpellier development studio stand together with fans protesting Rayman Legend’s delay. The French text on the banner at the center of the shot reads, “Release Rayman, Support Ubisoft Montpellier.” Rayman himself is saying “SVP,” meaning “please.”
Rayman supporter Joffrey Babilotte is responsible for the banner, which he reportedly took to “the gates of Ubi Montpellier,” where these shots were presumably snapped.
It’s one thing for fans of a postponed game to express their outrage. It’s another thing entirely for that game’s Creative Director to do the same. Ancel’s willingness to literally stand with Rayman’s fans in protesting Legend’s delay is certain to endear him to the gaming public. How the higher-ups at Ubisoft respond to Ancel’s actions, however, remains to be seen. The publisher’s Facebook page hasn’t been updated since February 8th, when the new Wii U demo was initially promised (the post has garnered 3,352 responses so far), and Ubisoft has yet to officially comment on the photo. Whatever comes of this, let’s hope it’s not bad news for Ancel’s long in development Beyond Good & Evil 2, which is slated for next-gen consoles.
What do you think, Ranters? With Ancel visibly on the fans’ side, do you believe there is any chance that Ubisoft will relent and release the Wii U version of Rayman Legends before September? Perhaps exclusively to eShop? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Rayman Legends releases early September for Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3.
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