Ubisoft Explains The Wait For Beyond Good And Evil 2

By Nathan Grayson on November 14th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

It's because Jade won't come down from the hood of that car. They've tried asking her really nicely, but she likes it up there a whole lot.

One of the greater tragedies of the modern age (mainly of gaming, I suppose, but also just in general) is that we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of Beyond Good and Evil 2 since a fairly insubstantial leak earlier this year. And before that, it was pretty much all radio silence. That’s painfully upsetting, because the original was a flawed yet fascinating romp through a world of conspiracy and pig people. It’s a cobweb-coated corner of the gaming universe to which I’d gladly return, but so far, no dice. But why? Why isn’t Ubisoft currently devoting all of its energies to making games just for meeeeee?

Well, in short, because it has to make other games for other people too, I guess or whatever. Specifically, creator Michel Ancel is busy lending a hand to his armless brainchild (as opposed to his brainless armchild) Rayman, and that’s eating up all of his time and then some. Speaking with Polygon, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explained:

“What’s very important is that Michel Ancel is kind of doing too many things at the same time. He was working on Rayman [Oranges] last year, and he’s working a lot on Rayman Legends this year. So, you know, when he does that, he kind of puts too much of his time on the other projects that he has. So the fact is, that working on Legends is slowing the process on Beyond Good and Evil 2.”

“It’s really a game that we’ve been working, we have worked on, and is a game that we want to do. But there are so many things that have to be done that, you know, this one is going to come in line at one point, but at the moment Michel is really on Rayman Legends.”

The seemingly grittier sequel, then, isn’t dead by any means, but this isn’t usually the kind of thing someone says when a finished product is just around the corner. So I would recommend patience. And then I would recommend teaching me how it works, because it’s not a concept I’ve ever been intimately familiar with – or, indeed, even understood on a basic level.

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62 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Diziet Sma says:

    Rayman Oranges?

  2. Hazzard65 says:

    It was a game so fantastic I was willing to play it throughout on a console. It’s one of my all time favorite games in fact.

    I bought it for my girlfriend for her birthday, not really knowing what the hell it was, but she liked Tombraider and it was a 3rd person adventure game with a lead female so I thought it might tickle her fancy.

    I left her to play it, she seemed to be enjoying herself but like all games she plays she gets very frustrated and I have to do the hard parts for her. Well thankfully she got stuck very early on in the game and well, that was pretty much the last time she played it as I had so much fun I just sat there playing the rest of it and she didn’t mind really, she seemed to just enjoy watching and the puzzle elements meant she could get involved as well.

    It’s a truly special game, and it’s a shame that it never got the attention it deserved. I for one will be very interested in a sequel.

    • quintesse says:

      I can only agree, Beyond Good and Evil was just so much fun that I remember being really surprised to hear it wasn’t much of a success.

    • Urthman says:

      The first 95% was a fantastic game. The endgame and ending were so terrible it soured me on the whole thing.

      Lots of bad games have terrible endings. This is the only time a terrible ending has actually ruined a great game for me.

    • mouton says:

      I really don’t get the fascination with this game. Sure, it was pwetty in places, but the story was a horrible black-and-white cliche, starkly contradicting its title. I guess to each his own.

  3. bucky says:

    can’t wait for this one

  4. tanith says:

    I’ve got the feeling that I already heard/read that Rayman excuse like three or four years ago.
    They’re still working on that? Or am I just completely off?
    As far as I remember that video with the chase scene was released three years ago and Ancel said back then that he is too busy with Rayman and other stuff.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I saw the alt text on the picture before clocking who the article was by and was about to chastise whoever wrote it for using “hood” instead of the altogether more correct “bonnet.” Should have realised it was Nathan, and as such I guess he can be excused!

    Beyond Good and Evil 2 is (like Dreamfall Chapters was until a week ago) one of those games which I’m trying to forget have been mentioned so that when they actually turn out to be happening I can be giddily excited rather than overcome with churlish moaning about them having “taken their bloody time.”

    • Stochastic says:

      Hood is clearly the correct term. Also, it’s spelled “tire.” /Judgmental prescriptivism

    • The Random One says:

      Yo yo yo, boys in da bonnet

  6. SpaceAkers says:

    Rayman Origins was really awesome.

    That is all.

    • The First Door says:

      This is very true! The problem is, so was Beyond Good and Evil.

      • MordeaniisChaos says:

        Ehhhh…. It was a little too flawed to be really awesome, I think. Had potential and was pretty cool is more accurate I think.

        • Premium User Badge

          Jackablade says:

          You’re a little too flawed to be really awesome!

          I’m sorry, that was probably uncalled for.

        • The First Door says:

          Almost all games I think are awesome are a little flawed though. They are awesome for other reasons than just the game play.

  7. WJonathan says:

    Why does everything have to be “grittier”? And if each game release is progressively grittier and grittier, will I eventually open a new case to find a handful of play sand?

    • Revolving Ocelot says:

      Well, around this time of year the county councils always complain about the lack of grits.

      So really, cliched darker and edgier game stories are all the fault of terrible English roads.

  8. Ovno says:

    Never managed to get into the first one, I did try but I just couldn’t care about the woes of annoying pig people…

  9. Shadowcat says:

    Huh. “Beyond Good & Evil” was one of the least-flawed games I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Not perfect — no game is — but honestly, in my books you need to be doing something substantially worse than anything I remember in BG&E to warrant making a point of describing it as “flawed”.

    • quintesse says:

      Agreed, “flawed” is when I’m pulling my hair out in frustration or (ports of) the game make me go “meh”. Not so with this one, I can only remember having lots and lots of fun. Encountering weird animals in little nooks and taking their picture seemed like a drag but was actually fun.

    • Shiri says:

      Well, this is just my perspective but speaking as a person who doesn’t often get motion-sickness in games, BG&E’s camera was SO FUCKING MISERABLE it prevented me from making it more than 2 hours into the game since the headaches and nausea escalated so rapidly.

      Pretty big flaw as far as I’m concerned.

  10. MordeaniisChaos says:

    Rayman Oranges huh? ;3

  11. SomeGuyInSauce says:

    We’re being deprived of BGAE2 for Rayman???

  12. Pazguato says:

    Flawed?!

  13. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Is that a floaty back to the future II car?

  14. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    Personally I don’t get the immense cult following the original received. It had a beautiful but underdeveloped art design, mediocre writing, potentially interesting but superficially explored themes and a package that was ultimately a B-grade Legend of Zelda affair, easily bested in game, level and mechanics design by Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker.

    It’s by no means a poor game but it’s almost treated like Deus Ex or The Longest Journey when really it’s decent but not that much more. Indeed after playing the demo, the game I had conceived to follow was far superior to the very simplistic affair, in both gameplay and narrative that followed in the full title.

    None of this disqualifies the potential the game would have in a sequel nor do I wish to suggest the game was without merit and I join others in enthusiasm for another instalment but the original game is hardly a masterpiece in any sense.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jackablade says:

      Genuine question here – why do you say the art design was underdeveloped? I’d be willing to argue that the game had very strong art direction which still holds together quite nicely even now.

      I think the writing is far better than you give it credit for too, but the art direction comment is the one I’m more curious about.

      • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

        It’s just my personal appraisal, for instance the antagonists look like demonic hell-fascists with no ambiguity or originality in either their appearance or manner (imposing red and black armour, really?)… and the writing bears that out. Sheeeeit, when the protagonist confronts the dying black-armoured boss, does he offer some justification for what he did? Does he say something with any complexity or subtlety? Maybe a statement that he has come to even believe his own lies? No, he says something laughably and joyously satanic about demons or angels taking him to hell.

        I’ve even heard really untenable discussions about how the game parallels propaganda in the run up to the Iraq War and I loved that concept and was sorely disappointed when it was only the most superficial resonance; propaganda is bad. Your enemy is bad and they employ propaganda. That’s that. I would be far more curious to learn how I’m short-changing the writing.

        • jalf says:

          I think “superficial” vs “deep” is completely orthogonal to “bad” vs “good”.

          You’re right, it wasn’t a deep storyline, the dialogue isn’t a subtle commentary on the human condition, and it’s not trying to change the world. And the bad guys very obviously look like badguys,

          But that doesn’t mean that either the writing or the art direction was “bad”.

          At least not in my opinion. You can have silly shallow stories which are still *good* and well written, and you can have deep and philosophical social commentary which is so badly written that no one bothers to read it.

          And likewise for the art direction, being subtle, making it hard to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys, is not a requirement for having an excellent art style.

          • Frank says:

            Yeah, what this guy said. This criticism (“it’s not HBO enough for me”) can’t be what Nathan had in mind when calling it flawed. And I don’t remember suffering serious camera issues. Most games I can think of have more obvious flaws…

          • mouton says:

            This particular shallow story was not good at all. It was cliche on top of a cliche with some added forced pathos (omg, they killed the pig dude, cry now) and simplistic categorizations (“journalists noble, militarists bad, mkay”).

        • Premium User Badge

          Jackablade says:

          That is a fair point – the social commentary – the power of the press et al, could have been developed considerably. The characters writing is what I remember more – the interactions between Jade and Pay’j, in particular have an… authenticity to use a fairly pretentious sounding term, to them that you just don’t often get in videogame writing.

          And then there’s the Jade’s heartbreaking monologue on returning to the lighthouse to find the orphans have been taken. It’s called Enfants Disparus on the soundtrack, if you’re not sure what I’m talking about. It’s one of only a couple of times that I’ve come close to shedding tears over a game.

    • Skabooga says:

      While I’ll agree that Beyond Good and Evil had fairly simple mechanics and story, what won me over in its favor was just the sheer, unbridled amount of joy and happiness it exuded. It had the je ne sais quois which made me smile. Certainly, not everyone goes in for that stuff as much as I do, but then again, I’m a sucker for it. To have made the story any more complicated or morally grey would have taken away from this feeling.

      I think there are plenty of games which contain more complicated ideas of morality. It’s nice to have a game that’s just a straightforward, untainted joy.

      • Premium User Badge

        zapatapon says:

        This. The overall plot of BGE was hackneyed and borderline ridiculous, and the ending part a great moment of “Huh, wha?”. But this remains one of my dearest gaming memories. Everything else was so full of charm and wonderful ideas, all the characters were loveable and colorful, the world so original and magnificent (even if it wasn’t that big) that I just would fly around again and again just to enjoy the view. The moment when you upgraded from boat to flying craft, though a pretty standard gaming mechanic to open up new places, felt magical because you could revisit and see old places from new angles. If anything, this was a world I felt I sincerely wanted to save, something that I haven’t felt that often.

        Also, I bought it simultaneously with Psychonauts. I will always remember 2004 with a special fondness.

    • thelongshot says:

      Funny you mention The Longest Journey. I just recently finished it, and I think that is certainly more overrated than BG&E. Basically, it is your standard adventure game which doesn’t do much to stand out from the crowd of other adventure games, other than the endless amount of dialog. Maybe Dreamfall will be better, but I keep hearing that was a flawed game as well.

      BG&E is a pretty strong game overall, with a lot of charm in their world, and the controls were pretty solid. The ending unfortunately asked more questions than it answered, and the story was begging for a sequel. I hope Ancel gets to it at some point, but I understand how the revival of Rayman has been a big moneymaker for Ubisoft.

      • Premium User Badge

        Rikard Peterson says:

        I agree. I liked TLJ quite a bit when I played it back when it was originally released. It instantly became one of my favourite games. But if I’m today am going to recommend one of these two games to a friend, I’m (depending on who the person is, of course) much more likely to mention BGE, which remains on my personal short list of classics. Mostly because of the feel of it, I think. The best thing to compare it with that I can come up with is Firefly.

        And the music. Driving into Mammago’s brings a smile to my face, or what about the propaganda rap?

  15. The Random One says:

    Well, if he was working on Oranges it’s ok. I wouldn’t be as forgiving if he was working on something like Where In The World Are Tom Clancy’s Dire Bomb Defusing Dudes, so watch out, Yves.

  16. Low Life says:

    Rayman Legends? Oh I get it, it’s because he only has the ends of his legs? Or feet, as we call them here in normal land.

  17. Dances to Podcasts says:

    On the plus side, whenever it launches the whole Ubi-DRM kerfuffle will be a distant memory.

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  19. SominiTheCommenter says:

    Loop this to infinity!

  20. JohnnyMaverik says:

    At this point I suspect they’ve put it on hold, or slowed the pace some what, so they can wait for details on the next console generation, and make it a launch title.

    I just hope they don’t drop PC as a result, or worse, make it a Micro$oft exclusive -_-

    As it’s Ubisoft I don’t doubt it’s a possibility.