As Michel Ancel, the creator of Beyond Good & Evil (and Rayman), has been away from Ubisoft for quite some time now (he’s gone off to work in the wildlife, leaving the gaming industry behind amidst sexual harassment allegations…), it was only a matter of time before we heard more bad news about the project that’s been in development hell for years…
Kotaku has reported that Ubisoft Montpellier managing director Guillaume Carmona has left the French publisher after an absence, and the studio is under labor investigation for alleged staff burnout, and many have gone on sick leave. Ubisoft did not immediately confirm the departure of the managing director of Beyond Good & Evil 2 (shortening to BG&E2 from now on). Still, according to Kotaku, the studio’s developers were informed of the situation last week.
Ubisoft has confirmed some of what’s happening at its Montpellier-based studio: a spokesperson for the French company says that the well-being of all Ubisoft teams, including this one, comes first and that they are therefore conducting an assessment through an external company, so “preventative measures and to evaluate where additional support may be needed.” So we have to admit that the French have poured no small amount of money into the project, which was once called AAAA, and it’s been several years since the E3 reveal, and we are seeing it looking less and less likely that BG&E2 will ever be made. The changes within the studio have certainly impacted the game’s development, no doubt about that, and it’s a question of when they will quietly put its carcass away because the situation doesn’t look bright at all!
Consider that Yves Guillemot wants to get their hands on fewer projects to give more support after release (implicitly pushing live service products). In the spirit of cost-effectiveness, it would be better not to rely not only on BGE&2 (since it has no release date but no target platforms) but also on the completion of Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time Remake.