First unveiled in 2008, the hotly-anticipated Beyond Good & Evil 2 experienced countless internal delays and setbacks, of a kind we’re all too familiar with these days (cough, The Last Guardian, cough cough, Final Fantasy XV nee Versus XIII). Today, Ubisoft Montpellier designer Michel Ancel explains just why the team chose to delay the sequel for so long: the tech wasn’t good enough.
“We wanted planet exploration, space travel, cities… All this was also supposed to be in [the first Beyond Good & Evil],” says Ancel in a new Instagram post.
While several games circa 2008 showcased sprawling space exploration (the original Mass Effect released in 2007, for instance), you could definitely argue that the way Ubisoft Montpellier envisioned BGE2 going about space exploration wasn’t feasible with the studio’s resources at the time. Rather than compromise on the team’s vision a second time, a decision was made to shelve the project until technology caught up. Unfortunately, it took a whole eight years.
“Instead of not doing the game of our dreams, we decided to return to [two-dimensional games], have fun with Rayman [Origins] and [then] go back at work for Beyond Good & Evil 2,” Ancel continues in the post. “We still have loooooots of work but now the tech is ready and the team is fantastic!”
Ubisoft Montpellier released 12 games in the eight years between BGE2’s initial announcement and this past October 6th, when Ubisoft officially confirmed over social media that the game was now in development. Some of those 12 games include the critically-acclaimed Rayman Origins and World War I-themed adventure game Valiant Hearts. But even while the studio was focused on other projects, it kept tooling with overcoming the technical hurdles facing BGE2.
“The game was playable with many prototypes,” says Ancel, posting the above image showing 2008-era renders of some of Beyond Good & Evil 2‘s central characters. “All videos [were rendered in] real time [but] we had too much technical issues.”
Beyond Good & Evil 2 currently has no release window or target platforms. A firm release date is likely still years away.