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Sessler’s Something: Game Journalism Credibility, Rayman Legends Delay

Adam Sessler is stuck this week addressing something that is rather uncomfortable to have to deal with: people assuming he and his company accepted money to say positive things about a company and recent game release—in this case, EA and Dead Space 3. This being the internet, we often get suspicious when advertising pops up for a game or company in particular that is then attached to something a journalist is talking about. It doesn’t help that last year some people did step forward to say that in certain cases sometimes advertising money is linked to saying more positive things, or simply omitting the negative remarks entirely.

Zelda Informer was at the forefront of this conversation just last year, and it was concluded that while it does happen in certain cases and with certain publications, it doesn’t mean that everyone is doing it. As an example, we get ads from several different publishers through our advertising agency that handles all of our incoming funding. Not only are the writers at our prospective sites not even aware of what companies are running ads with us, none of the income is actually based on what we specifically say about a game or company.

Instead, the advertisements bought on our site are based upon our traffic levels and our subject matter. In other words, the topics we talk about do play a role, but what we say about those topics do not. What is more important is how many readers we are serving. The more readers we serve, the better quality advertising we get. Less about HR Block and more about actual video games, as it were.

This plays into the accusations Adam Sessler felt he had to address because a Slim Jim ad featured an EA logo. Slim Jim bought some advertising space in their video content, but the EA logo sort of wasn’t known to be included. EA has a partnership with Slim Jim, but EA did not directly fund the advertising for that campaign. Slim Jim included the logo of their own accord. By the time it was noticed, all the editing was done and the video was ready to go live, so they just said they would live with it. They didn’t think the backlash would be so big for such a small advertisement slot.

This is, however, the internet, and thanks to many grumblings over the years, we are often left suspicious of activities with game journalists. From questionable reviews (Like how it appears EGM didn’t even play Aliens: Colonial Marines) to shoddy reporting jobs, the industry we’re happily a part of doesn’t come without sinners.

In the end, I am glad Adam clarified what exactly happened and raised up a point about this because while we will always be suspicious, it’s important to note that this happening may not be as common as people fear it is. While a small minority of places may be paid off, the overall whole of the industry likely isn’t. Even if one piece seems to be coming from that perspective on a site, it doesn’t mean the whole site is subject to it. In the end, it’s fair to criticize, but lets not just make hasty assumptions.

Our Verdict

News Wii U

Fans Petitioning for Previous Rayman Legends Wii U Release Date

Well it was only a matter of time. A Nintendo fan by the name of John Smith has started an online petition, ordering Ubisoft to bring back the original Wii U release date of Rayman Legends. The description states that mutliplatform availability is just fine, but delaying a complete game is unforgivable. As of this writing, the petition has garnered 6,475 signatures in the the few days since the delay was announced. You can sign the petition right here

Here’s what the petition says in particular.

Fans have been patiently waiting for Rayman Legends for the Wii U since it was announced as a launch game since June of 2012, and for many it was going to be one of the highlights of the Wii U’s launch due to the critical success of Rayman Origins. Legends was, and still is, being used worldwide as a major tool in showing the creative capabilities of the Wii U in stores.

The game has had a well-received demo released on the Wii U eShop, and it seems to be very close to completion, with a previous release date being announced less than a month from now.

But now< Ubisoft has disappointed hundreds of thousands of their fans by delaying an almost completed game for a further seven months so Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Rayman Legends lacking Wii U centric features can be released at the same time as the Wii U version.

Delaying an almost completed game intended to be a major exclusive for the sake of porting it to other consoles is simply wrong. This will hurt the relationship between Ubisoft and Nintendo, and more importantly, will hurt the relationship between Ubisoft and the consumers who will have to wait for the game for almost a year after the intend release date.

Releasing the game in September for all consoles will also be a very irresponsible move for Ubisoft to make from a financial standpoint, because of the number of high profile games coming out at the time, including Grand Theft Auto 5.

A similar situation also severely hurt the sales of Rayman Origins in Novermber 2011, with high profile games such as Uncharted 3, Batman Arkham City and The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword being released in the same month; and some such as Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games being released on the same day. February does not have a high number of high profile games coming out on the Wii U, and would be a perfect time to release Rayman Legends, instead of what will be a highly competitive September.

I am not asking for the game to be a Wii U exclusive, because as many people as possible should be able to experience what will be a great game, but I am asking Ubisoft to keep to their promises they made to Nintendo and their fans back at E3 2012 by releasing it as an exclusive for at least a few months by releasing the 99% complete Wii U version on the intended release date of late February 2013.

Again, you can sign the petition and show your support here, although I doubt the situation will change.

This just isn’t a good situation from anyone’s point of view right now.

Our Verdict

News Nintendo Wii U

New Rayman Legends Demo to hit Wii U, according to Ubisoft

In response to the recent outburst from Wii U owners and Rayman fans alike, Ubisoft has made a post on facebook promising another exclusive Rayman Legends demo for Wii U.

“Thanks for all your feedback regarding Rayman Legends in all of its forms. We have heard you and we will continue to listen. We understand your frustration and that you want to get your hands on the game.
“We are working with the development team to provide you with a new, exclusive demo for the Wii U soon. Stay tuned for more.”

A release date for the demo wasn’t mentioned, nor any specific details for that matter. As such details are disclosed, make sure to stay tuned to Gamnesia for updates. 

What are your thoughts from this response? Will this new demo be a good enough compensation for Wii U owners?

Our Verdict

News Nintendo PlayStation 3 Wii U Xbox 360

Rayman Legends Developers Speak Up: Not Happy With Delay

After getting the news earlier about Rayman Legends being delayed and no longer being a Wii U exclusive, it caused an uproar over the net. Wii U owners being upset because a game they had been waiting for, for quite awhile now. Gamers have taken to forums everywhere to voice their opinions on what Ubisoft is doing with this game. Then, having the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners pretty happy with what’s happening but what about how the developers feel? That’s something we wouldn’t usually know but today a Rayman Legends developer spoke up.

“I completely understand you but you have to understand one thing. This is not a decission taken by the development team, this comes from really really high up, so please don’t pick on the game. If you’re pissed, imagine how we feel. Think on the situation, we’ve been making overtime with this game practically since May preparing E3, and then almost a demo per month (gamescon, Wii U presentation, shops, eShop, etc…) and at the same time trying to actually finish the game. We had a first delay because it was obvious we couldn’t finish on time but we gave it all to be there on February. What face do you think we had when the week we had to close the game we’re being told it’s not going to be released? I couldn’t believe it.”

“For practical matters, you’ll have to wait for some months for the game to be released and will most likely serve for more content to be added and do it better. For us, this means we’ve spent 6 months barely seeing our wifes, kids, and friends for nothing because, after all, such a haste wasn’t needed. Believe it, it was a hell to swallow these news.

“Even then I’m firm in what I said back in the day, Rayman Legends is an excellent game and will still be, and the team that’s making it doesn’t deserve to have your back turned on them just because some men in ties one day took a wrong choice. This industry is really that shitty.”

After reading this myself, I feel pretty upset with what Ubisoft chose to do. It makes your company look bad and it’s even worse when your developers are speaking up about you. How do you guys feel about Ubisoft’s choice? Sound off in the comments!

Source: NeoGAF

Our Verdict

Features News PlayStation 3 Wii U Xbox 360

Rayman Legends delayed until September, coming to Xbox 360 and PS3

Ubisoft has disclosed that Rayman Legends will no longer be a Wii U exclusive, and has been once again delayed to release simultaneously with its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts. Confirmed in a press release from Ubisoft, EMEA Cheif Marketing & Sales Officer Geoffroy Sardin explains the company’s thinking behind making the game multi-platform.

“We heard from many Xbox & Playstation owners and Rayman fans who told us they really wanted to play Rayman Legends on their current system. We decided to give the fans what they wanted while at the same time broadening the audience exposed to this innovative and memorable game.”

Wii U version developer Ubisoft Montpellier is also in charge of making the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. IGN contacted Xavier Poix at this year’s D.I.C.E. summit to discuss the decision to go multi-platform.

“When we saw all the comments when we announced the game would be focused on Wii U, all of the people that have both the PlayStation 3 and 360 were really disappointed. So we thought it was making more sense to also bring the game to where it was originally from. That means Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. So we decided to go for a multiplatform launch simultaneously.”

“It’s a different kind of experience if you have the Wii U,” Poix said. “Obviously there will be cooperation on the PS3 and 360, but on the Wii U there is still this magic of having one player that can play on one system with a new experience and the other on the usual game pad. That stays a Wii U exclusive for sure, by definition.”

“If they loved the Origins experience, it’s close to the same kind of feeling but with a level of immersion and brand new settings that haven’t been seen before. We have other features that I can’t disclose right now, but it’s really a brand new game. Even in terms of visuals, we built our own engine in terms of lighting, in terms of having 3D elements so you can have dragons that fly from far to go in your face and back. It’s a unique kind of 2D platforming experience.”

“It’s really about the fans. It’s really about having a very interesting universe, a mix of craziness and poetry mixed all together. We are very happy that we can bring that to many, many Rayman fans and the more we can, the better.”

It was also confirmed that Rich George’s tweet from yesterday was referring to this announcement. 

With the game no longer being a Wii U exclusive, it’s difficult to determine what the future holds for Nintendo’s platform. Rayman Legends was the Wii U’s only significant release this month. While we do have some titles to look forward to this quarter unique to the Wii U (LEGO City: Undercover, Game & Wario, etc.), Rayman Legends was to be a prominent exclusive release. The game will be going multi-platform regardless of any GamePad-dependent features, however, Ubisoft hasn’t disclosed any details on how they will handle the transition. Will the loss of this exclusivity affect the integrity of third party support on Wii U?
Our Verdict