A number of fans have been waiting a long time for a sequel to 2003's Beyond Good & Evil. Beyond Good & Evil and Rayman creator Michel Ancel previously said the game was intended to be the beginning of a trilogy, but the sales didn't justify immediate work on a sequel. The game has been bouncing around Ubisoft for years: it appeared in a CG trailer in 2008, but development was shelved to focus on Rayman Origins and later, Rayman Legends. In 2012, Ancel finally confirmed that the game had entered "active" development for next-generation consoles.
With Rayman Legends nearing release, Ancel has begun to open up about Beyond Good & Evil 2. In an interview with Eurogamer, he outlined his general vision for the title.
"In Beyond Good & Evil 1 at first it was a full planet, you could go to the North Pole and see the eternal day," said Ancel. "But we had to limit it as we were only 35 people. We couldn't fill the whole world with all the things we wanted. We were frustrated at the end of BG&E1, and when we started the sequel we started again with this idea - you're free and can investigate and travel the world as much as you want."
"We wanted to not make this experience [BG&E2] linear, to give the player freedom to explore planet to planet, city to city - and not empty cities, of course. So these are things we worked on."
A concept demo was released onto the internet back in 2009, showing series protagonist Jade free-running Assassin's Creed-style through a city. Ancel said the team is cautious about not losing what makes Beyond Good & Evil unique.
"I think [the Jade video] was just a small part showing navigation inside and outside of the buildings. This demo was just a small part of the work done for that game. We don't want to make another Assassin's Creed with Jade of course. It must be Beyond Good and Evil 2," he explained.
With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on the horizon, Ancel feels its the right time to revisit his ideas for the series. He admits that his vision for BG&E 2 would not have worked back in 2008.
"It was not the time when we worked on it before, it was too ambitious, honestly," he said. "And this is the game that we want to do at the right time. So now that we have the right team and the right tools, this would be a good time to do it."
You've waited ten years already BG&E fans. What a couple more years at this point?
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