Since a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil was first teased by Ubisoft more than eight years ago, there has been very little information released regarding its development. But according to director Michel Ancel, his team wasn’t simply twiddling its thumbs. Rather, technical problems hampered earlier versions from delivering his vision.
“The game was playable with many prototypes. All videos were real-time but we had too many technical issues,” Ancel says in an Instagram post showing off 2008-era character models for the game.
Ancel also revealed the vast scale he’s hoping to achieve with Beyond Good & Evil 2, and that the ideas he’s hoping to implement were actually planned for the original game.
“We wanted planet exploration, space travel, cities … all this was also supposed to be in [Beyond Good & Evil],” Ancel continues. “Instead of not doing the game of our dreams, we decided to return to 2D, have fun with Rayman and go back to work for Beyond Good & Evil 2. We still have lots of work but now the tech is ready and the team is fantastic!”
The time off was certainly kind to Ancel’s studio, Ubisoft Montpellier. Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends returned the platforming series to its sidescrolling roots, to critical acclaim, ZombiU was praised for its classic survival-horror elements, and Valiant Hearts dealt with the horrors of World War I before another, more recent game tackled the subject.
Over the last few weeks, Ancel has posted a series of concept images related to Beyond Good & Evil 2, showing off what appear to be returning characters as well as some “visual research” showing potential versions of protagonist Jade. Ancel currently splits his time between Ubisoft and his own independent company, Wild Sheep Studio. The latter is currently developing an open-world nature adventure, Wild, for the PlayStation 4.