Ubisoft is repeating past mistakes with Rayman Legends delay
The announcement of Rayman Legends no longer being a Wii U exclusive and the game’s six-month delay has made a lot of people angry and others very happy.
Xbox 360 and PS3 owners are glad that they get to experience the sequel to the wonderful Rayman Origins without purchasing a new console. The more people that can experience what looks like a contender for GOTY 2013 the better. I personally have no issue with Rayman Legends not being exclusive to the Wii U anymore, though I still plan on purchasing the game for Nintendo’s HD console.
What I do object to, as many of you probably do, is the game’s six-month delay. Ubisoft is being quiet on the subject right now but it would appear that the Wii U version of the game was delayed in order to have all versions ship at the same time in September.
Rayman Legends was originally slated to arrive in stores February 26th. Only 19 days from now. Ubisoft might come forward and reveal that the Wii U version was going to need another delay anyway to improve the quality of the final product. Maybe the delay wasn’t solely for the purpose of getting all three versions to ship at the same time.
But if the Wii U version was nearly complete and Ubisoft is holding back on the game much like they held back on Rayman Origins 3DS last year then I believe they are making a mistake. If you recall, Ubisoft released a demo for Rayman Origins on 3DS in June 2012 but didn’t send the game to retailers until November.
Back in December the Wii U eShop received a downloadable demo of Rayman Legends and retailers have had this demo on Wii U kiosks in store since November. It would seem like the game was nearly complete and that the February 26th release date was a sure thing until today.
This makes this news all the more puzzling since releasing the game to a small Wii U base that it is starving for new releases now would probably be better than releasing it in September.
I believe Ubisoft should have shipped the Wii U version as soon as possible, preferably on February 26th. Wii U players who are in dire need of a good new release would flock to the game simply because there is nothing else noteworthy coming to the system until late March. They’d be capitalizing on a small but impressionable audience.
I’m not saying Legends would manage to convert all of the 2 million + New Super Mario Bros U buyers but you’d have to think those Mario players want another great platformer. Some of them were hoping to get another platformer sooner rather than later. Rayman Legends would have satisfied these people and should’ve converted at least a portion of New Super Mario Bros U’s fan base.
In addition to Ubisoft making a mistake by not capitalizing on the small Wii U player base they picked a terrible month to release Rayman Legends.
Its no secret that the next Madden NFL game will arrive in stores near the end of August. Grand Theft Auto V will release September 17th, and there is a strong chance Nintendo’s HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker releases in September too. Even if it releases on the last day of the month, people will be talking about the newest Madden, newest GTA and possibly a Zelda remake.
That puts Rayman Legends in competition with the biggest open-world shooter, one of the biggest adventure games and possibly the most popular sports game within a 30 day period. Ubisoft’s timing couldn’t be any worse. Rayman Legends will not be successful in trying to get consumers attention over these other games. We can look to the release of Rayman Origins for proof of this.
One of the major issues for Rayman Origins in 2011 was that it released close to a brand new Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Despite Origins being one of the best platformers in a long time it wasn’t a run-away success, largely due to its marketing and the timing of its release.
Fast forward to September 2013 and it seems like Ubisoft is set to make the same mistakes again. Releasing Rayman Legends in a crowded month and not capitalizing on a player base that is desperate for a great new release.
I sincerely hope I am wrong about everything when Rayman Legends releases in September and that the game is a huge hit selling more truck loads of copies. If the game is half as good as Origins it will deserve that sort of success. But it appears that we are on track to see history repeat itself once again. When we hear about Rayman Legends not selling well on any platforms shortly after its release we’ll be able to look back on this decision as the reason why.