We’ve received some bad news and even worse news to report: Rayman Legends will no longer be a Wii U exclusive, and the game has been delayed until September 2013. This comes a day after Famitsu had originally reported that another Wii U exclusive, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, would be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
IGN was the first to report on this news when they spoke with Xavier Poix of Ubisoft at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas. Poix states that the move was meant for fans of the original; however it seems more of a business decision based on the Wii U’s current install base compared to the 360 and PS3 combined.
Hit the jump to read Poix’s statement, alongside more thoughts on Nintendo’s relations with third parties, below.
“When we saw all the comments when we announced the game would be focused on Wii U, all of the people that have both the PlayStation 3 and 360 were really disappointed. So we thought it was making more sense to also bring the game to where it was originally from. That means Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. So we decided to go for a multiplatform launch simultaneously.”
“It’s a different kind of experience if you have the Wii U,” Poix said. “Obviously there will be cooperation on the PS3 and 360, but on the Wii U there is still this magic of having one player that can play on one system with a new experience and the other on the usual game pad. That stays a Wii U exclusive for sure, by definition.”
“If they loved the Origins experience, it’s close to the same kind of feeling but with a level of immersion and brand new settings that haven’t been seen before. We have other features that I can’t disclose right now, but it’s really a brand new game. Even in terms of visuals, we built our own engine in terms of lighting, in terms of having 3D elements so you can have dragons that fly from far to go in your face and back. It’s a unique kind of 2D platforming experience.”
“It’s really about the fans. It’s really about having a very interesting universe, a mix of craziness and poetry mixed all together. We are very happy that we can bring that to many, many Rayman fans and the more we can, the better.”
This news may not come such as a huge shock to everyone, but Ubisoft’s decision appears to be based on the intent to increase profits by making Rayman Legends multiplatform. Given how Rayman Origins didn’t sell extremely well for Ubisoft in 2011, this isn’t necessarily a death blow to the Wii U and it’s install base; but, it certainly leaves an empty void for the company who is struggling to entice third party publishers. Nintendo had promised a renewed third-party support for the past two years and it seems to be losing steam and fast. Nintendo is certainly not in panic mode just yet, but losing a exclusive like Legends will not bode well with their fans and possibly future consumers.
Now, this brings up a a good question for early Wii U adopters: What does this mean for Nintendo’s future with third parties? In addition, can a vast amount of Nintendo-Third Party partnerships be enough to keep its newest console afloat when their competition’s newest machines drop in the Fall?
Tell us in the comments below.