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2D throwback Rayman: Origins proves profitable for Ubisoft

Ubisoft's artistic experiment that saw an entirely 2D action-adventure game on retail store shelves for the same price point as Call of Duty proved to be a success for the company.
Gamasutra's most overlooked game of 2011 might not have been as ignored as we'd feared, as Ubisoft today revealed that Rayman: Origins has already proven to be a profitable game for the company. While no specific sales figures were provided (nor was the budget), the company revealed the game's profitability to investors during a conference call Wednesday morning, saying that the title "has the capacity to become a long-term seller for the company." The success may come as a surprise to some, as the game -- which resembles digital titles such as Castle Crashers or Braid more than the meaty 3D titles one might expect to see at retail -- was sold in a box at the same $60 price point as, say, Assassin's Creed or Call of Duty. Rayman: Origins sold just 50,000 in its first month at U.S. retail, according to NPD. Rayman: Origins is series creator Michel Ancel's return to the franchise. The game spawned out of a visual pattern-generating engine he and his team created for the now-on-the-backburner Beyond Good & Evil 2, which was experiencing scope problems at the time. "Let's make a full 2D game instead of half of a 3D game," Ancel told his team at the time. "The game is just so generous and lush, in all respects," wrote Gamasutra editor in chief Brandon Sheffield in Gamasutra's Top 10 Games of 2011 (it ranked at number 5). "It asks the player to enter a world that we might have imagined in our childhood, and rarely since."

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