Following Rayman Legends’ Delay, Ubisoft Bringing Free Online Challenges to Wii U in April

Many were quite unhappy with Ubisoft when they recently announced that while Rayman Legends for the Wii U is indeed finished and ready to make its original release date of February 26th, they would instead be delaying it again until September so that they could port it to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for a simultaneous launch. They since revealed that due to the delay, Wii U owners would be getting an exclusive demo to tide them over; however, the truth of the matter is that Wii U owners will be getting something more… much more, and for free, no less.

As shown in the video above, Rayman Legends Creative Director Michel Ancel and Senior Game Manager Michael Micholic reveal that beginning at the start of April, Wii U owners will get exclusive access to the game’s full online challenge mode. “This is a really exciting feature,” Micholic states, “because this is the first time that Rayman has ever been online.”

Online challenges will be accessed through the main hub, with new challenges coming “weekly and daily,” each with their own leaderboard. They will take place in five different settings which “feature a unique set of gameplay styles,” including the music-based “Land of the Dead.” The fifth, known as “The Dungeon,” has been included exclusively for the Wii U, and utilizes the touchscreen gameplay of the GamePad those who have played the demo are already familiar with. “You’ll need to master speed and rhythm on the GamePad’s touchscreen,” Micholic notes.

All of the challenges will be playable by one or up to five people at the same time. Scores will be tracked on leaderboards and as ghosts, so you can see how you’re doing comparatively as you go. Plus, the developers themselves will be participating as well, so you’ll have to be at the top of your game if you want to keep up.

Best of all, it will be “playable for countless hours,” so you’ll be set if the suits at Ubisoft suddenly decide they want a PC or some other version and decide to delay it again.

All said, I think the developers are making the best of an unpleasant situation. Reports are that at least one developer has anonymously shared the grief the team has gone through in trying to get the game ready for a February launch, only to have the rug pulled out from under them by the announcement.

That said, many claim they are boycotting the game, if not the entire company, over what has happened. In essence, it’s like they’re shooting the hostage to get to the bad guy, and not in a cool Speed kind of way; rather, it’s akin to just shooting without regard. Of course, they are in a Catch-22– how does one punish the company without also punishing that which they want to support?

It’s been an unpleasant couple of weeks as far as Rayman Legends is concerned, and I remain worried about the game’s fate as it is still on track to be tossed out at the start of what will no doubt be a busy holiday season for gaming, rather than when gamers are hungry for new content. This is doubly so if Microsoft and Sony do, indeed, make their big next-generation push later this year. It did Mega Man Legends 2 no favors, and I doubt Rayman Legends will come out of this unscathed.

With all of that in mind, I have to hand it to the developers with this move. It feels like they’re really going above and beyond in this endeavor to please the fans– those that truly support them, rather than the fair weather ones who think the whole company should burn to the ground now, regardless of what anyone does.

I do sincerely hope this works out well for the developers and the fans alike in the end, but we’ll have to wait until September to see how it goes. As it is, I know I’d still like to do my part to support the game.

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.