Michel Ancel, creator of the Beyond Good and Evil 2, Rabbids, and Rayman franchises, is leaving the industry to work on a wildlife sanctuary.
Beyond Good and Evil 2's Michel Ancel announced he is leaving the business on his Instagram account, stating he is going to work with his other passion, wildlife.
"After more than 30 years, I’ve decided to stop working on video games and fully focus on my second passion: Wild Life," he stated. "My new project takes place in the real world and consists in a wildlife open sanctuary dedicated to education, nature lovers and ... wild animals.
"Many of you might want to know what will happen to Wild and BGE2. No worries, since many months now the teams are autonomous and the projects are going super well. Beautiful things to be seen soon."
Ubisoft released a comment on Ancel's departure, stating that Beyond Good and Evil 2 is in good hands and that Ancel hadn't been involved for a while.
"For years, Michel imparted his creative vision and helped us remain faithful to BG&E’s incredible universe," reads the statement from Guillaume Brunier, senior producer of Beyond Good and Evil 2.
"His uncompromising passion pushed us to redefine what was possible in crafting an expansive, multicultural, and futuristic science-fiction world. As we move forward, we are all committed to remaining true to this vision.
"As Michel noted, he hasn’t been directly involved in BG&E2 for some time now, as the team has been hard at work building on top of the solid creative foundation he helped shape. The team’s collective strength has us well on our way to developing a flagship next-generation action-adventure game.
"We recently passed an important internal milestone, delivering a build that proves our Space Pirate Fantasy and offers hours of gameplay and an incredible level of freedom in a seamless online sandbox, building upon the promise of our tech demos shown at E3. I’m incredibly proud of the team’s perseverance, dedication to each other, and ongoing commitment to developing an amazing game.
"We still have a lot more to do, and we’re ramping up the size of the team to help. We recently added Ubisoft Paris as a partner studio, and in the past six months, many new people have joined us here in Ubisoft Montpellier."
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was in the active creation stage eight years ago. Then, Ancel started dropping images of the game in September 2016, followed by another teaser image and later, another confirming it was in pre-production. We were finally given a look at the game during E3 2017 followed by an in-engine demo and another look at the game in 2018 a couple of times.
As far as Wild is concerned, Ancel's Wild Sheep Studio is helming the project. First announced six years ago as an online survival game, it lets you play as an animal or human. After being shown off during Paris Games Week, we were given the latest look at it four years ago in offscreen footage shown by Ancel. Last we heard, the studio was hiring more folks to help shore up the development team.