Rayman Raving Rabbids Interview

May 24, 2006

My first exposure to Ubisoft’s Rayman has the dubious distinction of having taken place on the Atari Jaguar, but even then I knew the game was something special. A creation sprung forth from the creative mind of Michael Ancel, the limbless anthropomorphic character has been fighting off enemies with his unique abilities, and rescuing Teensies and his other friends with his distinct style since the mid-90s, both as a 2D platfromer, and then later in full 3D. While not as recognized as other notable mascots such as Mario or Sonic, Rayman has nonetheless become an industry icon, not just for Ubisoft, but for platformers in general.

During his work on King Kong, Ancel began to consider returning to the Rayman franchise, and just prior to E3 2006, Ubisoft confirmed that Ancel was indeed developing a next-generation version of Rayman titled Rayman Raving Rabbids. Perhaps most surprising, however, was that the game was also being developed for the Nintendo Wii, and was shown to take advantage of the console’s unique Wii remote.

Now, Michael Ancel speaks out regarding his return to the franchise that made him a star, as well as what players can expect from Rayman Raving Rabbids when it launches alongside the Wii later this year.

As far as I know, you haven’t directly worked on a Rayman game in several years. Why return to the franchise now?

The last Rayman I worked on was Rayman2 for Nintendo 64. Even if technically, we were beginners at 3d, it was a fantastic project, simply because it was fresh and funny. After Beyond Good & Evil and Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, I wanted to go back to a more simple type of game and focus on game-play and crazy humorous situations.

Which systems is Raving Rabbids coming to? Which is the lead SKU?

Rayman Raving Rabbids has been announced as a launch title for Wii, plus the landscape of current and next gen consoles. We will have more official word on those soon!

Let’s talk about the Wii version of Raving Rabbids. What is the storyline for the game?

I wanted the story to be as simple as possible. The rabbits, for centuries, have prepared an invasion…Now it’s time for them to rule the world. It’s very clichA