February is proving a difficult month for the 3 million Nintendo Wii U owners in the world. Even as those early adopters patiently wait for new games to grace Nintendo’s idiosyncratic console, the few exclusives lined up for the system are migrating to competing machines. Nintendo first lost Ninja Gaiden: Razor’s Edge to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. For Tecmo Koei, the decision is only logical – Razor’s Edge was itself a remake of a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game released in March 2012. Much more damning was the loss of Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends, a game tailor built for Wii U that was originally supposed to be released as a launch day title for the Wii U, but was then delayed to Feb. 26 and has now been delayed yet again, this time until Fall, when it will release alongside Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions as well. As upset as Wii U owners may be at the second delay, they’re nowhere near as unhappy as the game’s creators.
Rayman creator Michael Ancel and the Rayman Legends team at Ubisoft Montpellier posted a series of pictures online on Tuesday protesting the delay. The team held up a hand drawn sign of the titular character and the words, “Sortez nous Rayman. Soutient a Ubi Montpellier.” Originally translated into English by Eurogamer, it reads, “Release Rayman. Support Ubi Montpellier.” The drawing of Rayman (seen on the right) is crying and a voice bubble reads “SVP,” a slang abbreviation of “please.”
Other images show members of the team hoisting up signs with the recent French release date of “28/2/13” on it.
This is the first official outcry from the development team itself, but there have already been rumblings of discontent. When Ubisoft initially announced the delay, an alleged former member of the Montpellier team took to Spanish forum Zonaforo (translated by NeoGAF) to voice the team’s frustrations. “If you’re pissed, imagine how we feel,” reads his statement, “We had a first delay because it was obvious we couldn’t finish on time but we gave it all to be there in February… For us, this means we’ve spent six months barely seeing our wives, kids, and friends for nothing because, after all, such haste wasn’t needed.”
“Rayman Legends is an excellent game and will still be, and the team that’s making it doesn’t deserve to have your back turned on them just because some men in ties one day took a wrong choice. The industry is really that shitty.”
Ubisoft claimed that the decision to delay the game was done for the fans. “We decided to give the fans what they wanted while at the same time broadening the audience exposed to this innovative and memorable game,” said Geoffroy Sardin of Ubisoft marketing. Time will tell if the series’ fans will still be willing to buy the game on multiple platforms come fall.