Beyond Good and Evil 2 suffers another development setback as studio head leaves: report
Beyond Good and Evil 2 suffered another development setback as studio chief executive Guillaume Carmona reportedly left the company. According to Kotaku, staff at Ubisoft Montpellier were made aware of the change in management last week, amid a labor investigation by local authorities into burnout. A veteran of nearly two decades at Ubisoft, Carmona has been out of the office since the start of 2023, with no verifiable reason for his departure. First revealed in 2017, the report also notes that Beyond Good and Evil 2 has still not entered full production, as the makers were unable to come up with a “creative vision”.
“The health and well-being of our teams is an ongoing priority,” a Ubisoft spokesperson told Kotaku. “Given the length of the development cycle with Beyond Good & Evil 2, the Montpellier development team is undergoing wellness assessments through a third party for preventative measures and to assess where additional support may be necessary.” The news of Carmona’s departure comes after a year in which several Ubisoft Montpellier developers took long sick leave due to burnout and stress. The report mentions that while some employees returned, others left the studio entirely, leading to the investigation in December.
In recent times, the studio has undergone another shake-up, which saw senior creative director Jean-Marc Geffroy stepping down from the project and being replaced by Emile Morel, who was previously Associate Director of Beyond Good and Evil 2. The Game Director Benjamin Dumaz also left the company, making way for Charles Gaudron, former design director, to take over. While the change in naming might seem daunting, it’s not uncommon for a game designer to take on a bigger director role. FromSoftware’s upcoming Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon also saw a change of direction when Masaru Yamamura took over the director role from Hidetaka Miyazaki. The former was previously the lead game designer on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Ubisoft Montpellier has been working on Beyond Good and Evil 2 for over 15 years to some degree now, with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot assuring in 2010 that the game “will be perfect”. A cinematic trailer was shown at E3 2017, presented by Michel Ansel, director of the original 2003 game. However, he ended up resigning from the company in 2020, after reports of his toxic behavior at work surfaced. The game itself has been described as an open-world affair, set in a multi-ethnic and multi-racial society, with traditional role-playing game elements. An official web page for the same is still in place.
In 2020, Netflix confirmed it was working on a movie Beyond Good and Evil, directed by Rob Letterman, best known for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. The film was said to have both live-action and animated elements and was on the hunt for writers. There has been no update on this since.
Earlier this month, Ubisoft finally confirmed the reason for its many game delays and cancellations, with CEO Guillemot saying the company was churning out far too many games at once. This naturally led to lost revenue, with some of the blame shifting to Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023’s underperformance in the final weeks of 2022.
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