Without a doubt, one of the biggest surprises of E3 2017 came during Ubisoft's press conference at the event, as the company revealed the long-rumored existence of Michel Ancel's pet project Beyond Good and Evil 2. Of course, while the game received an impressive showing during the ceremony, many have been wondering whether or not green-lighting the title after such a lengthy time in between it and the first one is a huge gamble for the publisher and developer, leading Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot to definitively declare he doesn't believe its creation to be a risk.
The Ubisoft CEO stated as much during a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz's UK editor James Batchelor while discussing a wide variety of subjects including Vivendi's plans to take over the company, establishing a presence in the Chinese market, the Assassin's Creed franchise, E3 2017 as a whole, and of course, Beyond Good and Evil 2. In regards to the lattermost subject mentioned, after being asked if producing the sequel would be a financial hazard in an industry so driven by hit titles, Guillemot responded by saying, "I don't think there's a risk there."
While Guillemot definitely seems confident in Beyond Good and Evil 2's ability to satisfy new players and fans who have been waiting a long time for confirmation of the sequel's existence, the Ubisoft CEO then went on to qualify his statement. Naturally, he sees any venture from a business standpoint, as even a fresh game with great ideas and execution has the potential to fail, but the executive is optimistic when it comes to the forthcoming followup. In fact, it looks like he has faith that not only women gamers' interest in the project will help bolster its success, but also its ability to appeal to an even broader audience this time around will assist in its prosperity overall.
"Well, there's always a risk when we create games, but I don't think there's as much risk because Michel [Ancel, director] has been through so many projects. The first Beyond Good and Evil was very good, Michel did what he wanted and what we thought would be the best for the players. But there's one thing we didn't look at: exactly how many players were interested at the time by female characters, science fiction world, and so on.
"It seems bizarre to say, but at the time we had lots of men playing games and they wanted specific types of games. All the women that saw Beyond Good and Evil loved it, and it was a huge surprise. And lots of people wanted something different, and they loved it. It was a big surprise because normally market analysis would have told you not to do it. It didn't sell as many [copies] because it didn't respond to the majority, but the minority loved it so much it created something different.
"Now, because we've been doing more games, Michel will continue to take risk - as you could see - but he has more information and is automatically responding a lot more to the majority of the players."
All things considered, only time will tell if Beyond Good and Evil 2 manages to succeed in terms of quality and profitability, as there is currently very little to go on in as much as actual gameplay is concerned. Just a month ago, in fact, director Michel Ancel declared the game's development to be at "day zero," as it took Ubisoft Montpellier three years to simply create the technology required to start making the title. So, with any luck, Guillemot's confindence in Beyond Good and Evil 2 will eventually spread to the fans and gaming community at large once more of the title is shown.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 is currently in development, but lacks an official release date for any specific platforms.