Beyond Good & Evil is one of gaming’s hidden gems. Released by Ubisoft back in 2003, the game was loved by critics and the fans that played it. Unfortunately those fans were few on the ground. Beyond Good & Evil — seen by creator Michel Ancel as the first part of a trilogy — was a commercial failure, failing to find an audience.
Thankfully, Beyond Good & Evil’s reputation has grown with age. It’s been over a decade since the title released, and rumours of Beyond Good & Evil 2 have refused to go away. Originally announced in 2008, the sequel has been stuck in development hell for years. It was not forgotten by the creators of the original game, however. In the run-up to the launch of the excellent HD remake
o, producer Wang Xu asked that fans should “keep the faith” over a sequel.
It seems as though Michel Ancel, creator of both Beyond Good & Evil and Rayman, has been more determined than most to keep the project afloat. In 2012 Ancel announced that Beyond Good & Evil 2 would be released on next-gen consoles, and in July of last year gave another update on the project. Now, Ubisoft has confirmed that Ancel is continuing work on the sequel — even though he’s devoting his time to a new indie studio.
In a statement to Eurogamer, Ubisoft confirmed that Ancel was founding a new studio called Wild Sheep, but that he would continue to work on projects for Ubisoft. “In addition to spending some of his time on this new venture, Michel is leading the creative development of select projects at Ubisoft Montpellier,” said Xavier Poix, managing director of Ubisoft’s studios in Annecy, Paris and Montpellier. Amongst these projects is “an extremely ambitious new title that is very close to his and the team’s heart.”
That’s an enticing statement for fans of Beyond Good & Evil; particularly given previous comments over needing the power of the now new-gen consoles to truly see Ancel’s vision for Beyond Good & Evil 2 come to life. However, Ubisoft did not stop there. After being pressed for more details on the subject of this title, the publisher all-but confirmed that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is still on the cards.
“It’s still far too early to give many details about this new title,” read a statement from Ubisoft. They did announce that Ancel and his team at Ubisoft Montpellier are “working with the core tenets of BG&E” and are “developing something that aspires to push past the boundaries of a proverbial sequel.” Not only that, but the team apparently wants to “deliver a truly surprising, innovative and exceptional game.”
Sounds exciting. Of course, fans will try not to get their hopes up too much — after all, it’s been a long time since that initial teaser trailer in 2008. Ubisoft did promise to “have more to share later” about the direction of this “extremely ambitious project.” It is the year for news on much-wanted sequels — Mirror’s Edge 2 was in limbo for nearly as long and we had news of that at E3 this year. Who’s to say that Beyond Good & Evil 2 can’t have a turnaround of its fortunes too? Here’s hoping for more news on the project soon.