According to Beyond Good and Evil's creative director, Michel Ancel, development never stopped on Beyond Good and Evil 2, a spacefaring sequel with lofty ambitions. In fact, it's been in development since Rayman Legends released in 2013.
For more on what's currently in development, check our list of upcoming PC games.
After Ancel shared some concept art from Beyond Good and Evil 2 last month, fan interest has suddenly skyrocketed once more. In an interview with Kotaku, Ancel says sharing the image was his way of reassuring fans that the game does in fact exist, though it's still a long way from completion.
That's because it's bloody ambitious. “Even on Beyond Good and Evil 1 it was supposed to have space travel and all these things but we were limited,” Ancel says. “The big thing that is really cool is that the consoles are now so powerful [...] The amount of memory the CPU has, you can do those things now. It's not 'Oh, we will never do it.' It's working.”
“I've been working on [Beyond Good and Evil 2] for a long time, on the technologies that allow you to create those kinds of games - tools to draw the big planets and things like that. We're confident on the quality and that we can achieve that kind of game.”
He elaborates on those ambitions a bit, comparing the scope to that of Star Citizen, with some areas of Beyond Good and Evil 2 even being "more advanced", while Cloud Imperium's space game is more advanced in different areas. He refers to this space race as a "gold rush on planets”.
“[We had] big questions that are so big you can't know the answers because no physics engine can handle all of the dimensions and speeds and things like that,” Ancel continues. “It's like 'Okay, if no physics engine can do it, how can we achieve that?'
“It's crazy and difficult to explain to people how technical making a game is. Now it's not anymore about polygons and things like that, it's about millions of behavioural AIs, systems, and giant spaceships crashing on big planets."
Whether it ends up ever coming out our not is likely down to what happens with Ubisoft and Vivendi, as the game is “a very serious development for Ubisoft" currently.
“They want these kinds of games to exist,” Ancel says. “When they wake up in the morning they don't want to make money - they've got money for ten lives if they want to stop. It's not a question of power or money now. What reason has this company to live: Is it to beat competitors? No, [Ubisoft’s] already in the top three. It's being able to create things that have never been created before. [Guillemot and Hascoet] are the ones that want to make this happen. They ask the creatives 'You want to do it? We can do it.'”
The whole of Ubisoft currently seems very worried about whether this attitude would change if the hostile takeover is successful. In fact, Ubisoft's VP of live operations, Anne Blondel, recently said it just wouldn't be the same. It's a sentiment Ancel mirrors.
“There is something very fragile that makes a company what it is,” Ancel explains. “[It’s made of] people who have been working together for a long time. It's always the same, if you look at King or Supercell, it's a group of people who did something very strong at a certain time.
“It's not just one person most of the time, it's a lot of people who make the team work. If you change the team this fragile system could break, it's a risk, and today there is no reason to change it, unless people want to make more money. But Ubisoft is good at what it's doing.”