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E3 2015: Michel Ancel Is Off 'Beyond Good & Evil 2' — Is The Game Dead?

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Just hours ago, IGN UK published an interview with Ubisoft's senior vice president of sales and marketing, Tony Key. Then, the interview vanished without explanation.

In it, the interviewer asked Key about the status of the long-in-development Beyond Good & Evil 2, and its creator, Michel Ancel. Key replied that Ancel is working on several things, but Beyond Good & Evil 2 is not one of them.

"He's a busy guy right now," Key said. "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."

The original Beyond Good & Evil, published way back in 2003, was a financial failure for Ubisoft but a critical favorite, and it became a cult hit over time. Ancel envisioned his ambitious science fiction action/adventure game as the first in a trilogy, but it would be five years until a sequel was announced by Ubisoft. In 2008, Ubi confirmed that Ancel was working on the game with Ubisoft Montpellier and showed off a teaser trailer that was rendered in-game.

In 2011, it was announced that Beyond Good & Evil 2 would be made for next-generation consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4. As recently as last year, Ubisoft continued to insist that the game was still in development but that Ancel was working with a very small production team in order to preserve his artistic vision. So, it would take a long while to complete it.

Now, a Ubisoft executive says that Ancel's off the project. This isn't the first time that reports have surfaced of tensions between Ancel and Ubisoft, but it's the most definitive. It begs the question: How can Beyond Good & Evil 2 go on without Michel Ancel?

In the meantime, Ancel has founded his own independent studio called Wild Sheep, though he's mentioned repeatedly his commitment to continuing to work with Ubisoft on various projects. His first Wild Sheep game is called WiLD, an exclusive downloadable title for the PlayStation 4.

Key also commented on the game itself — without actually saying much.

"There's just nothing to talk about right now," he told IGN. "We don't really have anything to say. We appreciate how much people really want it."

That's a very carefully-worded response. Is the game still in development? Or is it dead in the water? We've been waiting seven years for this thing — 12, if you count as far back as the first game — which is a ridiculously long time. But hey, if Duke Nukem Forever and The Last Guardian can escape development hell ...

h/t VG 24/7

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