More than two years ago, Ubisoft released the first--and to date, last--trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2. The silence surrounding the project has been so thorough that rumors spread last August that development of the game had been put on indefinite hold.
Eager fans of the series are receiving a bit of good news and a bit of bad news today, as Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel this week confirmed that the game is still in development but isn't likely to see release anytime soon. According to a Eurogamer translation of a Montpellier in Game conference session (viewable at Crisy.fr), Ancel said he is working on the sequel with a small team "to preserve creativity and so the game doesn't become a commercial product, so that is has soul."
Just as Ubisoft created a toolset that is allowing a team of five to make the 2D platformer Rayman Origins, the publisher has Ancel working on a new toolset that aims to make 3D games viable for small teams. Unfortunately, the process is time-consuming, as Ancel apologized and asked for patience from the audience.
"It takes a bit longer," Ancel said, "but we're very keen to use this system with this game, because it's an ambitious game and we want to create something exceptional."
Released in November of 2003, Beyond Good & Evil won critical acclaim for its mix of traditional action adventure elements with stealth segments, a picture-taking gameplay mechanic, and an engaging story of a young woman pulled into a rebel faction to blow the lid off of an interstellar government conspiracy. Despite the accolades, the game was largely lost in a slate of holiday releases already rich in the action and adventure genres, including Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, Jak II, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, I-Ninja, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and Ubisoft's own Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.