Michel Ancel has worked in the video game industry for over three decades. During that time, he's been responsible for creating several major franchises. And today, he announced he's leaving that behind for an entirely different kind of venture: nature.
In an Instagram post, Ancel confirms that he's decided to stop working on video games and "fully focus" on his second passion, wildlife. His new project will be at a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to education and nature lovers.
Ubisoft confirmed as much in a statement to Eurogamer, that Ancel was leaving to work on a personal project. "This project, a wildlife sanctuary in the region of Montpellier, France, is now growing in scope, and he wishes to put his full effort into this longstanding passion."
A veteran of the industry for over three decades, Ancel has been known for his work on series he created at Ubisoft. This includes Rayman, Rabbids, and Beyond Good & Evil, all of which became major parts of Ubisoft in their own ways.
Ancel had two projects, Beyond Good & Evil 2 and Wild. Both have been absent from the public eye for a long time, without much in the way of updates. Ancel says the teams are "autonomous" and the projects are going well; "Beautiful things to be seen soon," Ancel says.
Today, Ubisoft addressed the departure as well as the ongoing development of Beyond Good & Evil 2. In a blog post, Senior Producer Guillaume Brunier says Ancel hasn't been directly involved with the project for "some time now." Beyond Good & Evil 2 recently passed an important internal milestone, according to Brunier, and the team is aiming to show more of the game in action sometime next year.