Michel Ancel has described Rayman Legends’ six month delay as “brutal”, and claimed that the protest staged by him and the rest of the team following the initial announcement came as a result of a “misunderstanding”.
“As artists, we don’t have the control of everything,” Ancel told us last week while discussing the game’s delay. “Of course, as creators we are a bit selfish. When we heard about the delay we were like, ‘No! We want our game to be released, to let people play the game’.”
Ancel appeared to protest against Ubisoft’s decision to delay the game, appearing in pictures alongside other members of the dev team holding a banner saying: “Release Rayman. Support Ubisoft Montpellier.”
But Ancel claims that was a result of a “misunderstanding” between the dev team and seniors at Ubisoft.
“It was a misunderstanding because when we heard about [the delay] it was very brutal,” he said. “Just suddenly this happened, but after talking more and more we understood better the things behind the decision.”
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Ancel suggests that the delay was down to an “economic situation” – likely the poor retail performance of Wii U – and suggests that his superiors could have cancelled the game had they not chosen to port it to other platforms.
“The mix between the boss – the one that [makes] decisions – and us, the connection must be there. They could have decided to not put more money in the game, because it costs a lot to have a full team for six more months. But I think they believe in the franchise and somehow they believe in what we are doing.”
“I think in the end, I wouldn’t say I’m happy about the delay but I feel better now because I know that the game is going to touch more people, more people are going to be able to play it,” added Rayman Legends’ lead game designer Emile Morel.
“I think [Ubisoft’s decision to port] the game was because they believed in the game, actually. Because they knew it was a great game, so it was giving us another chance.”
The six month delay has allowed Ubisoft Montpellier to add “big things” to the game, including new mini-games and brand new types of levels, including a fantastic football mini-game.
“A team is a bit like an engine,” explained Ancel, discussing the new additions. “It takes time to accelerate, and the power of the team is the best at the end of the game. So if you keep the same team with the same power and you add content, it’s not like adding a few small levels, it’s like adding big things, like the bosses, the invasions, the football and all these things.”
Rayman Legends had originally been developed as a Wii U exclusive, but was delayed at the turn of the year to allow time to develop ports for other platforms.
The game is finally due to launch on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PlayStation Vita on August 30.