This year’s E3 has been magical. The stuff of dreams, bringing long lost and forgotten games back to life. Shenmue 3? Final Fantasy 7? The Last Guardian? What year is it? The only thing that would have made this the perfect E3 for nostalgic old bastards is if Ubisoft showed off Beyond Good and Evil 2, accompanying the thing with a release date. That didn’t happen. And it may never.
[Update] Ubisoft says that IGN’s report is untrue.
“What was reported by IGN is untrue,” said Ubisoft. “Michel is still leading creative development of several exciting projects being developed by Ubisoft Montpellier.”
Another E3 press conference gauntlet over, and Beyond Good and Evil 2 is nowhere to be seen. The game was announced, by way of a CGI teaser at Ubisoft’s Ubidays event in 2008, and honestly, that’s the last we officially saw of the game. Since then, we’ve heard all manner of things about it being cancelled, it not being cancelled, and even Rayman Origins and Legends keeping designer Michel Ancel too busy to move on to make Beyond Good And Evil 2.
In 2011, we were given a ray of hope, when Ancel spoke of the game’s scope holding production of the game back.
“And of course, the scope of Beyond Good & Evil is large – you’ve got the city, the ocean, the moon and the space ship. But the space ship was designed to go from planet to planet, and it was frustrating to have those limitations. And my thing is that we really want to make the game that was previously imagined, with all this feeling of traveling. Mass Effect did a good job on that side, and I think that there are a lot of things to do to continue in that direction, with storytelling and a massive world.”
“It’s always possible to do anything on any kind of console, but sometimes you need to spend your energy not on the optimizations or things like that.
Now that we have the [new] consoles around the corner we’re working on them. We’re trying to see how we can get the power out of those consoles because there are still things we need to understand on those consoles, but yes, Beyond Good & Evil is a project I always have in mind and I hope good things will come for this project very soon.”
Just last year, we were told it was still coming. It may never happen. In a Gamespot video (now removed) picked up by IGN (in an article now removed!) Tony Key, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Ubisoft suggested that Beyond Good and Evil 2 may never be made.
He confirmed that Michel Ancel is no longer working on the project.
“So he’s a busy guy right now. But no…. He’s got things going on and I can’t really comment on his bandwidth. I know he’s very busy. We still work with him on things.”
Ancel, though still working with Ubisoft, has started his own studio, which is busy right now making the ambitious, but not Beyond Good and Evil 2 WiLD, a game that lets you play as anything you want.
Hopefully, the fact that the article’s been nixed means that Kay misspoke, but the prospect of ever seeing Beyond Good and Evil 2 are increasingly slim.
Last Updated: June 17, 2015