Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Leaks Were "Discouraging," Dev Reveals

The reveal went well, but the weeks before were disheartening.

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Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was one of the most pleasant surprises of E3 2017, and our latest impressions reiterate our excitement for its upcoming release. But you might remember that, prior to its E3 reveal, images from the game leaked--and weren't exactly received well.

Recently, creative director Davide Soliani shared that these leaks were not good for morale among the development team. In an interview with Eurogamer, Soliani said that public response to the images disheartened the team members.

"We were aiming to do a big surprise at E3," he said. "And unluckily that was not the case. Of course, it was quite a bad backlash for the entire team. Discouraging. Quite hard on the team morale."

It was especially difficult considering that only a promotional image leaked. It gave no clue as to gameplay mechanics, story, or even style. It was only a low-quality image that some ridiculed for the Rabbid dressed as Peach and Mario wielding a gun.

"Of course I tried to, let's say, reassure everyone that we had a good game and our team is not composed of stupid guys, so they knew they were doing something quality-oriented," he stated. "But of course, there is no way to avoid not feeling anything towards this kind of feedback. We're passionate guys and not just doing this as a job, but also for the pleasure of giving emotion to the player."

However, Kingdom Battle's official reveal put Soliani at ease and reassured him of his game. During Ubisoft's press conference at E3, legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto came out on stage to help announce the game. For Soliani, this was validation: "When Miyamoto went on stage and the audience reacted, I felt, finally, the team has its reward."

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle launches on August 29 for Nintendo Switch. In GameSpot's recent preview, critic Oscar Dayus said that the game is surprisingly hard. "But the game being this difficult is what sparks those hilarious debates, and the characters being this well imagined is what makes Kingdom Battle feel like more than just an XCOM clone," he wrote. "Directing Mario and his friends was joyous, and I now can't wait to tell you that no, actually, Peach rules more."

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