Michel Ancel Accused of Toxic Management at Ubisoft

Published: September 25, 2020 1:59 PM /


Beyond Good and Evil 2 delays cover

Beyond Good and Evil 2 delays were caused by dysfunctional management according to a new in-depth report that alleges multiple problems with the game's development.

If you've been following Beyond Good and Evil 2, you know that it's been in development for quite some time now. We've seen videos showcasing the game in various ways over the years, but there's been a surprising amount of silence on the game's progress throughout its life.

The game's lead Michel Ancel recently left the game industry with this project unfinished, casting doubt on its future. It's still very much in development, but it hasn't always been that easy.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 delays slice

What Caused the Beyond Good and Evil 2 Delays?

Anyone who has worked at a very large company has likely encountered a bad manager or two. Sometimes, they'll micromanage your projects to death and drive you positively insane. Now, a new report from French newspaper Libération (translated at ResetEra) alleges that Michel Ancel was a driving cause behind many of these delays, but he doesn't bear sole responsibility.

Here's the short of it: many of the Beyond Good and Evil 2 delays were caused by the sheer scope of the game. Michel Ancel wanted to make a highly detailed world, and this game planned to include multiple planets for the player to visit. One developer noted that Ancel wanted a "stupid level of detail" for Ganesha city, a prospect that was viewed as a little nuts considering the scale of the game.

Several developers speaking to Libération allege that Ancel would regularly trash talk developers or ask for redesigns on parts of the project. These delays would have a compounding effect: one department suddenly falling behind would have knock-on effects for everyone else in the studio.

This alleged toxic behavior led to Ubisoft bringing in new management to try and balance out Ancel's creative decision. This didn't exactly help the situation — according to this report, many of the executives wanted to be the person who "saved" Beyond Good and Evil 2 and were perhaps overenthusiastic about managing their aspects of the project. Several developers reported burnout and loss of enthusiasm working on the project.

Ubisoft's management, for its part, provided surveys to Libération that showed the ups and downs of employee satisfaction. Multiple sources speaking to the newspaper, however, note that they have abstained from filling out these surveys occasionally, so it might not paint the most accurate picture of development.

The Beyond Good and Evil 2 delays were so bad that Ubisoft nearly killed the project in early 2019. The team was given a one-year reprieve to make a playable build — something they've managed to do — and things are somewhat back on track.

It's been seven years since Beyond Good and Evil 2 began production and things finally seem to be on track. Developers are being recruited and progress is being made. The Beyond Good and Evil sequel is not yet dead, but it came awfully close to never seeing the light of day.

Do the production challenges of Beyond Good and Evil 2 surprise you? When do you think we'll actually get to play this game? Let us know in the comments below!

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More Info About This Game
Learn More About Beyond Good And Evil 2
Release Date
December 31, 1969 (Calendar)
RPG, Adventure, Action