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Rumour: Rayman Creator To Part Company With Ubisoft

Posted by Damien McFerran

Michel Ancel to leave publisher after Rayman Legends is released?

Ubisoft's decision to hold back the Wii U version of Rayman Legends to facilitate a multi-platform launch has caused quite a bit of ill-feeling, but if this latest rumour is to be believed, it could end up costing the French publisher one of its most talented staffers.

French site GameKult has reported that Rayman creator Michel Ancel and a handful of other staff members are considering the idea of leaving Ubisoft once Rayman Legends is finished. The reason appears to be a desire for more creative freedom.

Of course, if this rumour is true, there's nothing to suggest that the delay of Legends is the cause — Ancel might genuinely want to strike out on his own. According to GameKult, Ubisoft has denied the report.

Would you like to see Ancel gain more independence, or do you think he should remain loyal to the company which has given him the chance to bring his ideas to a global audience? Drop a comment to let us know.


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User Comments (53)



Everly said:

I think Ubisoft proved where their loyalty lies and it wasn't with their developers. So I have no problem at all if that team feels they would like to explore their options.



erv said:

I hope this is true for all developers to see. Just so that no one, publishers or marketeers or anyone, forgets that it is ultimately the product that the people buy, not your tactics.

Make great products in order to make a business, not to just run a great business that happens to need products to be convincing.

Everyone understands the need for economically sound game development, it's just that you don't get there with thin air mumbo jumbo.



Ryon said:

nothing i can say that hasnt been said already. I fully agree with the 3 guys above me.



DePapier said:

@Ryon I was just thinking the same thing. I mean, why bother commenting if Everly, Five-seveN and erv have already said it all?



TwilightV said:

I don't think he'd do that. Beyond Good & Evil is too personal a project to him. If he left without finishing it, he'd feel horrible about it.



GiftedGimp said:

Well its no secret that the Legends were very upset with Ubisoft in the way they were treated over Legends and the Delay in the title, Doing severe overtime, not seeing familys etc, to make sure the game was going to be ready for release to be told it's being delayed once they completed the game.
Ubisoft nor the devs in question are going to make it public, but its almost certain that the whole Legends fiasco would of played at the very least some part in their reasoning to break away from Ubisoft.



BakaKnight said:

Considering the mess happened after Legends I'm only surprised this rumour didn't appear sooner XD

Really wonder if it's only that, or if there is any truth behind it...
Time will tell I guess.



WiiLovePeace said:

If this is true I want him to stay at Ubisoft to at least see that Rayman Legends gets released, otherwise the shift of people leaving (I imagine a few of his team would follow suit) may delay the ports of the game & thus Ubisoft would delay the Wii U & other systems' release of the game further.



Slapshot said:

Good for him. Michael Ancel is one of the best in the industry and he'll do just fine on his own.



Wildfire said:

If this is true I won't mind a bit. I'll actually be more than happy for him since he is one of the most creative minds out there and with that he deserves freedom for his creations!



LavaTwilight said:

He's obviously a very talented creator and developer. When you work for other companies though it will always give limitations to what you can and cannot do. The reason for leaving is almost certainly because of the Rayman issue but that is if the rumor is true. Rumors arise all the time especially over controversial issues. Let's just wait and hear it from the horse's mouth (so to speak).



MasterChordles said:

Would he get to keep his IP's? Because Rayman and beyond good and evil could go to better studios. Might finally get a sequel to the latter



Smug43 said:

I sure hope so.. there needs to be a revolution of sorts for developers. They have been taken advantage of so much I'm almost to the point of stop buying games all together. If anyone needed a union it's developers. Publishers forcing them into months of "crunch time" only to futher their own greedy pockets. SOOOOO SICK OF THS!



FJOJR said:

If Nintendo was smart they would take him in and give him the means to do what he wants



PanurgeJr said:

I have a bad feeling Ubisoft owns BGE and wouldn't let Ancel take it with him. Maybe he can freelance with them until BGE 2 is done, like the rumors of the Ueda/The Last Guardian situation.



FullbringIchigo said:

if i was in charge of Ubisoft i would release the WiiU version of the game now because holding it back for the other versions just isn't worth it they have lost a lot from this fiasco



LordessMeep said:

If Ancel happens to go indie, the best bit would be the fact that he already has an established fanbase. However, if this means letting go of his ongoing work at Ubisoft, I'd say he stay with that company, finish his games and then get out.
He'd have no control over Rayman anymore though. :/



Waann said:

I think that Ancel has been pissed at Ubisoft for a while, even before the Rayman Legends delay. It would probably be good for him if he left, but yeah, I don't know what would happen to BGE...

As for future Rayman games without him... They'd probably be okay. He wasn't involved in Hoodlum Havoc and it was pretty good.



Tasuki said:

I hope he gets to keep the Rayman IP but more than likely it is owned by Ubisoft. . Still with systems like Wiiware, XBLA, and DSiware its easier for developers to get their own games out their without a big company like Ubisoft backing them than it was in the early days of the NES for example. I think he will do just fine.



Gigagator said:

@Majin-Naruto Don't Microsoft have something in the contracts that publishers have to sign that state games can't be released earlier on other platforms? If that's true then that would be why the Wii U version isn't being released first. Ubisoft aren't going to ignore that and have Legends miss out on the Xbox 360 platform either.

I hope this whole situation doesn't turn Ubisoft completely away from Nintendo. Things are already looking somewhat shaky.



Spoony_Tech said:

What did Ubisoft think was going to happen with the announcement of the last delay?!?! That the Nintendo fans would just chalk it up as another delay and move on. Seriously I hope the back lash continues till they come out with a public apology. Not going to happen though because I'm sure they feel like they did nothing wrong!



Tasuki said:

@Gigagator: THe problem with that is that Rayman Legends was a Wii U exclusive first. So even if MS had that deal it wouldn't apply since the deal with Nintendo was inked first.



Rafie said:

I don't know why Ubisoft just take another route and release the game. Since it WAS a Wii U exclusive, just name it "Rayman Legends: Forever". The "Forever" part will be exclusive to the Wii U, hence voiding the release date fiasco with Microsoft. Just add a simple mode on to the game or a DLC character exclusive to the Wii U to keep it different from the others and still honoring a release date before the other 2 consoles.



Moonhillwat said:

This would certainly teach Ubisoft a lesson in which developers are people that you simply cannot cross and get away with it.



Sean_Aaron said:

The people who keep blaming Microsoft policy for the Rayman Legends delay have no actual basis for saying this. There are plenty examples of multi-platform releases where the 360 didn't get a simultaneous release. The simple fact appears to be that Ubisoft just didn't want to do a staggered release to avoid two marketing campaigns once they got cold feet about having Legends be a Wii U exclusive due to lower sales than they wanted.

Regarding the article, if Michel and his colleagues choose to leave Ubisoft I wish them all the best. Hopefully they'll get decent contractural terms with future publishers and hopefully they'll continue working on Nintendo platforms.



Jukilum said:

In regards to the people wondering, I'm pretty sure Ancel doesn't own the rights to Rayman or BGaE any more than Miyamoto owns the rights to Mario.



Haxonberik said:

@Jukilum I'd prefer to just see him work on a new character for new platoformers, but idk about Beyond Good and Evil, I haven't played it yet.



Guybrush20X6 said:

I always hate it when this happens. Ubi still has the rights to Rayman, and after all he's done to bring Rayman back after being shoved aside for the Rabbids.
It's like watching a divorce and the Kid being left with the irresponsible parent

I wonder what meat-headed exec had the multi-platform idea. And don't give me that Microsoft said it all had to be launched at once crap. How many units did Rayman shift of the XBox compared to the PS3 and Wii where the previous Rayman fans were? Just tell me that.



AlexSora89 said:

In a perfect world, Michel Ancel would found a studio alongside other developers too-good-for-their-former-publishers, such as Keiji Inafune and Yuji Naka. And then there will be games so good, they'll actually trigger the apocalypse.



Drobotic said:

Good.Thanks to their stupid delay,there could be no more Rayman games at ALL!



Wii_Win said:

Ubisoft needs to learn something: These are real people. It's got to be depressing to have to delay a game and then get a lot of hate from fans. It'd be very exciting if Ancel made his own studio, he would do great. Hey Nintendo, if this isn't just a pure rumor, hire this guy! Fast!



Rect_Pola said:

This is conveniently timed IF it has nothing to do with the delay. The sweetest irony would be if Nintendo picked him up and let him do whatever he wanted to make new IP (which Nintendo does need)



Hamguar said:

Good for him! I am disheartened that he may not have the rights to Beyond Good and Evil and Rayman but they were the products of his creativity so I'm sure that this goose has many more golden egg in him. And good luck Ubisoft in getting any chance of replacing such a loss of creativity. Then again, I don't think they would know creativity if it snuck up on them and made two amazing IPs for them to abuse.



Tender_Cutlet said:

It's a long shot - but Nintendo did just open up their European R&D centre in Paris last year - he would make an excellent project leader and a massive coup for NoE. Perhaps he has been headhunted? This whole fallout between Ubisoft and Ninty might just be the repercussions...having said that he's only truly likely to get unlimited creative freedom from going indie.



HappyHappy said:

Ancel is a big time video game designer, if he does decide to leave Ubi then I'm sure he can make it on his own. Who knows if the rumors are true that other developers plan on leaving Ubi as well then they can start there own video game studio.



Rafie said:

@triforcepower73 I was waiting for him to say what titles that all platforms got that Microsoft didn't get at the same time. Not to mention the DLC thing, which there's a plethora of evidence substantiating MS's bear claws. MS got big money and they can set things in motion like that. I'm not hating MS for it or anything. I have a 360. I'm just saying I wouldn't put it past MS if this business move of Ubisoft had anything to do with that.



artofmana said:

After seeing Ubisoft's last E3 presentation and then Ancel and his studio it just seems like they are already two entirely different entities. Maybe the team will find a home closer linked to Nintendo. That seems a better match.



Harley said:

I kind of saw this one coming. I'd do the same if I were in Ancel's shoes as a developer. At least I'd be able to NOT piss my fanbase off by delaying a game seven months after it's already been fully formed. What's the point? I mean...if I had the money for a Wii U (which I don't), Legends would be my killer app and reason to buy the system. But seeing as they're delaying ALL versions seven months, it's a moot point. I might as well buy a 360 and play Legends on that (I'd have more games to chose from aside from that as well). This is just like how Sonic creator Yuji Naka left SEGA (after they started sucking) and went on with his own creative path.



Omarsonic9 said:

I hope he leaves and makes a company with some of the other people who will leave. OR.... HE SHOULD JOIN NINTENDO!

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