As I'm sure you're aware, this year's E3 is now in full swing with all publishers bar Nintendo having showcased their incoming wares at their respective conferences. Last night, Ubisoft delivered an unexpected surprise by way of a dazzling Beyond Good and Evil 2 cinematic that, despite failing to showcase any in-game footage, has split opinion across the board.
Gorgeous as it is, the trailer above marks a seismic shift in tone from the 2003 original, and number two will take place before the birth of the first's endearing protagonist Jade. Given the game's been in development for close to a decade and a half, one might ask: why now? Why bring Beyond Good and Evil 2 to E3 at all, given Ubisoft and creator Michel Ancel failed to provide a launch date or even a look at the game in practice.
Speaking to Gameslice TV, Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot suggests BG&E 2's E3 outing was tied to the game's so-called "Space Monkey Program"—a community-driven initiative that encourages prospective players to help shape the game's development.
"Michel really wanted to work with all the people that will play the game, to really create something new. He said: okay, it's the right time now to go and speak about the game and ask for feedback on everything we do," says Guillemot. "That's really what made him decide to talk about it this year. The goal is to make sure he can share a certain number of elements on the world and the rules of that world and how it will [work], and get feedback from all of the community. [This will] help him create a part of the game."
Guillemot continues to say Ancel has been working on the game and building an entirely new engine—which Guillemot says is on show "behind closed doors" a the conference—for three years.
When asked when we can actually expect a finished game, Guillemot adds: "It's on the way but what's really important to consider is that collaboration [Ancel] wants with all the people that can have an impact. He wants to organise this collaboration—it's not new, but it is to Beyond Good and Evil."
When then asked if said collaboration is in reference to funding, Guillemot responds: "It's not in the funding, that's going to be Ubisoft. Creatively we are very interested to iterate—that world is just enormous and there are so many possibilities and so [Ancel] wants the result to be what people expect."
Here's Gameslice's interview with Guillemot in full (the BG&E 2 discussion runs between 0.45-4.30):