This rumor is making its rounds, so it’s at least worth talking about on the off chance it’s true. See, Rayman Legends delay has caused a stir and while the Watch Dogs port to Wii U has calmed many fans down, it hasn’t inherently made anyone on the Rayman staff any happier about things. Here is reportedly what is going on behind closed doors.
“Two delays and the loss of temporary exclusivity for Rayman Legends on Wii U might have pissed off players, but it’s also causing quite a stir at Ubisoft Montpellier.
“Based on several sources, Michel Ancel might be thinking of leaving Ubisoft with his own team once Legends is finished, and start a new project with other people (different company?). He talks about wanting more liberty in creating and organizing his project. This is not the first time Ancel has spoken of leaving, but so far he’s always stayed with Ubi.”
Oh, it gets much worse than this, as apparently Nintendo and Ubisoft failed to reach a distribution and marketing agreement, which ultimately led to the delay and the ports.
“Development of Rayman Legends is pretty much over, even though there is some work left to do on the PS3 and X360 versions. Ancel would like to calmly leave Ubisoft, taking some people with him. If it should happen, it wouldn’t be a crying affair. Ubi is aware, and they might choose to be involved in Ancel’s next project either way, even if he chooses to leave, as per an anonymous developer. Another source says Ancel has already given notice he is leaving, as he has other contacts and projects he’d like to work on. Five or six Montpellier personnel would be ready to leave with him. The idea is that Ancel would remain “tied to Rayman”, whatever happens.
“This might explain in part the further delay and the premature announcement of the Rayman Legends port to other platform. With Ancel possibly on his way out, he would have less motivation to contest the decision to port, as he is already looking to greener pastures. Several sources state Ubi and Nintendo were unable to come to an agreement on distribution and marketing of Legends, which was a reason for the port to PS3 / X360.
“Ubisoft and Ancel categorically deny these rumours. We probably won’t know much more until a couple more months, unless more sources start spilling the beans.”
It’s probably for the best that Michel leaves Ubisoft, given the way he is treated, but it also means we will likely never see a
Beyond Good and Evil 2. It wont be the end of Rayman naturally, but it certainly could be a harsh blow. We could also, of course, get an all new IP at whatever studio he works for next. Still, it’s interesting, and this is the first we have heard that Nintendo was involved in the process of the port because of agreement complications. True or not, none of this surprises me.