Michel Ancel has told Eurogamer that development on Rayman Legends (which was delayed due to Ubisoft's decision to port to other consoles other than just the Wii U) has ended and he has expressed interest in returning back to developing Beyond Good and Evil 2.
Michel Ancel had this to say to on the subject:
"We need to build the team and retrieve the elements that we worked on" On the subject of an offical announcment Ancel stated he didn't want to say, as the development time for BGE2 could differ "I don't want to say things in terms of time that will make people disappointed - it will really depend on the speed that we will make things for that game."
"We've made a lot of things already. Now we need to put them together and make that game. If there would be any communication it will be in the next year, just trying to talk about the fact we are on it. But so many people in Ubisoft want to make that game, honestly."
So good news for fans, developers are just as eager to make the game as we are to finally reveive it, but how is development working out for Ancel's ultimate Beyond Good & Evil vision? Michel now accepts that the processing powers of the consoles back in 2008 where just too much to handle the direction he wanted to take Beyond Good and Evil in:
"It was not the time when we worked on it before, it was too ambitious, honestly," he continued. "And this is the game that we want to do at the right time. So now that we have the right team and the right tools, this would be a good time to do it."
Michel Ancel also revealed some original plans for gameplay when Beyond Good and Evil (the original) was in pre-production, and how he plans to reimagine that concept, bigger and better, in Beyond Good and Evil 2, with the power of next-gen consoles:
"In Beyond Good & Evil 1 at first it was a full planet, you could go to the North Pole and see the eternal day," he explained. "But we had to limit it as we were only 35 people. We couldn't fill the whole world with all the things we wanted. We were frustrated at the end of BG&E1, and when we started the sequel we started again with this idea - you're free and can investigate and travel the world as much as you want."
The first game, whilst it did have its fair share of open-world, was largley confined to a small section of the planet Hillys, (as well as an even smaller part of the Planet's Moon at the end) and although the player could go wherever they pleased within these confines, the order of narrative and story-progession was still very linear.
"We wanted to not make this experience [BG&E2] linear, to give the player freedom to explore planet to planet, city to city - and not empty cities, of course. So these are things we worked on." Michel remarked on the subject.
Also, in a comment on the 'leaked' footage of Jade running through a dusty city-scape, reminscent of other Ubisoft game, Assassin's Creed, and slightly less-so of EA game Mirrors Edge, Ancel had this to say:
"I think [the Jade video] was just a small part showing navigation inside and outside of the buildings... This demo was just a small part of the work done for that game," he explained. "We don't want to make another Assassin's Creed with Jade of course. It must be Beyond Good and Evil 2."
Finally, on the subject of the (some would have said oppresionate) mind-set of the powers-that-be in the Ubisoft offices, such as the likes of Yves Guillemot, Michel made it clear that Beyond Good and Evil 2 is something the entire industry finally may want to get behind:
"The Ubisoft bosses are very careful about keeping the company on track at the right time," Ancel concluded. "If we make the sequel - and it's something we want to do - we will do it because they are convinced it's the right thing to do. And we need to be convinced that they will be convinced, and I'm really confident with that.
"They've done really well with the different games that are coming out right now and the ones they've already released. They're in a good place in terms of the business, and it could be very interesting to make a game like that as there aren't too many games out there right now that would be like ours. So I think it's the right time and I'm confident that they will follow the team."
So, is Beyond Good and Evil 2 finally on the cards for not only development, but full, fleshed and commerically backed production that the first game unfortunately did not have?
Only time will tell, but you'll be sure to hear it here as soon as the green light is finally lit.
As ever, keep tuned to the IRIS Network.