In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two days, I want to inform you about something:
Ubisoft has delayed Rayman Legends, a Wii U exclusive, in order to port it to other platforms. The game was supposed to be out at launch and was already delayed until less than two weeks from now before we got the news that it would be coming out in September. What is worse is that the developers were in full crunch time mode, working the (sadly) standard, extreme overtime hours to get the game out on time before being made aware of this a week ago, when the game had gone gold.
It was ready to come out. It is also worth noting that it practically had this month to itself, as the only other Wii U title that was set to release for February 2013 was Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2, which is download-only. By moving to September, not only is it coming out in the same month as Grand Theft Auto V, which is a pretty big deal even if I don’t really care for the series, but it’s the month before Pokémon X and Y, and shares the same quarter as the next Call of Duty game and the upcoming remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. On top of that, rumours say that Microsoft and Sony will both launch their new systems around then as well.
In addition to that, which should already be more than enough to slaughter the sales it would have received, people are so extremely pissed off at this decision that they intend to boycott the game, or at the very least make a point of only buying used so Ubisoft gets nothing. It’s worth noting that most of the developers just get paid a flat fee and the publishers are the ones rolling in the profits, so if the set-up here is similar, this won’t actually hurt the developers.
What perhaps makes this all the more annoying is that Ubisoft had the gall to announce this morning that they “understand” the anger and announced a free demo, and that more Wii U games were coming from them. Do they not realize that, by showing it as a Wii U exclusive for E3 and at the Wii U promotional kiosks, people were expecting it to be out a bit sooner than a full year after launch?
But what’s extremely annoying about this is not that it’s going multi-platform. No, that’s fine, and expected. Very few people are actually mad about that. What makes no sense is that they would make the stupid decision to delay a finished game solely to port it. I didn’t see any publishers extend the same courtesy by delaying their games to come out on the Wii U at the same time as other systems. In fact, it seems that most of them are simply not even bothering with Wii U ports, as we see major game releases like Remember Me, Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and (to use an example from Ubisoft) Watch Dogs (which, funnily enough, would make more sense on the Wii U than most other systems due to its mechanics being perfect for the gamepad).
This post-release drought is seriously screwing over the Wii U. Companies refusing to port games over are seriously screwing over the Wii U. Having a title delayed in this very vulnerable period where no games are coming is a big blow.
I will likely also take part in boycotting Ubisoft. From this point forward, unless they build up enough good will for me to forgive them, I will not purchase any Ubisoft titles unless they’re used (or, if on PC, significantly marked down).
I would not have purchased the game on release regardless. Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, which comes out in just over a month, takes priority. But it’s the principle of the move that has me angry.
At the very least Platinum has confirmed 100% through Twitter that doing such a thing to Bayonetta 2 or The Wonderful 101 would have to be Nintendo’s call, equating it to releasing Zelda on PS3.
P.S.: Ubisoft is now looking for a new PR coordinator. Might have some correlation to this trainwreck.