Ah, rumors. We love them. The gaming industry feeds off them, regardless of how little substance there is backing the claims. It's a sad truth. The latest seems to come from French website GameKult, which claims that Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel (along with other members of his dev team) are quitting Ubisoft.
"Michel Ancel wants to calmly detach himself from Ubisoft, taking with him a few others," one source said. Another claimed Ancel had already told the company of his resignation and would leave the company after the completion of Rayman Legends, which is now also due out on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September — along with the previously confirmed Wii U version that was originally supposed to release in February.
Turns out, these rumors are false, or part of them anyway. Responding to Eurogamer France, Ubisoft simply referred to these claims as "Unfounded rumors!"
"Michel is currently working on Rayman Legends, a unique game that will be released on Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3," Ubisoft France spokesperson Pascal Lecointe said. "Michel Ancel and Ubisoft therefore categorically deny these rumors."
It seems as though Ancel will remain at Ubisoft for the remainder of Rayman Legends' development, but the statement does little to discount the rumor of Ancel and members of his team leaving after the game's release. If Ancel does intend to leave, and has already informed Ubisoft, I doubt we'd hear about it. Ubisoft wouldn't want to risk alienating potential buyers of Rayman Legends with the announcement that the Rayman creator himself is leaving the studio.
This rumor comes not long after a photo of Ancel and members of Ubisoft Montpelier protesting the delay of Rayman Legends surfaced online. The photo showed several Ubisoft Montpelier members holding a sign that showed Rayman crying, asking to "Release Rayman" along with an angry mob. Prior to the photo surfacing, an anonymous Rayman Legends dev spoke out about the game's delay. Needless to say, he wasn't happy.
To make it up to Wii U owners, Ubisoft promised an exclusive demo for the system. That idea was scrapped last week and instead replaced with a full online challenge mode of the game — exclusively on the Wii U. This is an online feature set in five different locales with different gameplay styles.
We've reached out to Ubisoft to clarify their initial statement.