The real story of Ubisoft Montpellier’s Rayman Legends ‘protest’
Once a Wii U exclusive, Rayman Legends will now be released on 360, PS3, Vita and PC too – a move which might make business sense, but it still caused consternation among owners of Ninendo’s home console earlier this year.
It even led to reports of protests at the developer, with studio staff posing alongside banners which read: “Release Rayman. Support Ubi Montpellier.”
Emile Morel, Rayman Legends’ lead game designer remembers it differently. “As for the protest about the delay, it actually never happened, it’s a funny story and in the end a big misunderstanding,” he told us. “A few days after the announcement of the delay, one morning two Rayman fans came by the studio with a funny banner to protest about the delay in a nice and humoristic way. We’re not used to have fans coming by the studio, so some members of the team took pictures with them to be nice and friendly.
“We spent some time talking with them and once they left I remember someone in the team asking: ‘Did we tell them not to put these pictures online?’ The answer was ‘no’ and two hours later these pictures were everywhere and people started to think that the whole team was protesting about the delay. In the end, no harm was done, and this gives us a funny story to tell!”
Level designer Chris McEntee told us of his disappointment at the move, as the team had worked so hard to meet the initial deadline. “Finding out that it would be delayed just made us feel for the fans,” he told us. “We knew it wouldn’t be taken well, and it hurt to see people’s reactions.”
McEntee also says that the ‘protest’ was just a few photos take out of context, and explains the story from his perspective.
“I’m working at my desk in the studio, and someone comes in saying there are two people outside with a sign saying Release Rayman,” he says. “I thought, I have to see this, so I and a lot of other people went outside to check it out. We were so happy to know that people cared enough about our game to come to our studio and tell us that they were disappointed.
“We wanted to take a picture with them, a personal picture, just because it was a cool moment for us. Once they posted the picture, it became a ‘protest’ according to the internet. There never was any protest; we worked on the game and made the best out of a slightly disappointing situation. And, truth be told, we have a better game for it.”
Rayman Legends will be released on Wii U, 360, PS3, Vita and PC on August 30.