Rayman creator Michel Ancel announced last week that he is leaving Ubisoft and the gaming industry in general, despite the fact that his latest projects – WILD and Beyond Good & Evil 2 – are still pending. In light of this, the French newspaper Libération told how Ansel had made little progress in creating projects in seven years.
According to anonymous Ubisoft employees interviewed by Libération, the blame for such a long development of Beyond Good & Evil 2 lies with Michelle Ansel. They described him as a control freak with a penchant for sudden ideas that can lead to a ton of extra work. At the same time, he did little to soften the blow to employees who had to abruptly make changes to the project.
Also according to Libération, the Beyond Good & Evil 2 trailers shown in 2017 and 2018 were just “Made in a hurry” concepts that have nothing to do with the final vision of the game. According to one former Ubisoft employee, Ansel wanted to achieve an incredible level of detail in an open world with several planets that cannot yet be achieved.
Ansel’s constant change and harsh leadership style resulted in widespread depression, burnout, and requests for transfers within the team, according to Libération. In 2017, Jean-Marc Geffroy, who previously worked on Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, was transferred to Beyond Good & Evil 2. He needed to improve the production process, as Michel Ansel has preferred project its independent game WILD.
“To try and mitigate Ansel’s problem, they sent us some big-name people, these ‘talents’ with excessive egos, disgusting behavior and barely disguised superhero syndrome. All of them were convinced that they and only they would save BG & E2 “, – said an anonymous source.
What ultimately drove Michel Ansel out of the gaming industry is unknown, but according to Libération, Ubisoft is conducting an internal investigation. However, Ansel’s statement did take the team by surprise. The only thing left after his departure is one sheet of paper with eight points describing the main vision of the game.
Ubisoft has confirmed to Kotaku about the investigation into Michel Ansel.
Michel Ansel himself on Instagram commented on the Libération story as “Fake”… He explained that talking about his poor leadership is a lie, since the team also includes producers and managers – they are the ones who decide what to do.
“I always change my mind – a lie. For example, I have been explaining for years why you cannot remodel a city from scratch. He spent hours explaining that the characters were good enough and didn’t need to be tweaked. The same is about the planets and everything else. But sometimes some people on the team changed something, despite my advice. Managers are responsible for solving such problems “– he wrote.
He also commented on the words about the Beyond Good & Evil 2 demo. According to Ansel, the 2017 presentation was real and made the next demo possible. And in 2018, the shown build of the game used real streaming, procedural generation, and a functioning network mode. “It was a technological masterpiece”– he added.
“The article from Libération contains fake information from people who want to destroy me and the projects. This cannot be done if I do not fight for every line of this news. I gave the journalist enough time to look at all the mistakes. Let’s see what he will do “– finished Ansel.
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