"It is with a heavy heart that we share the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Emile Morel," Ubisoft Montpellier said in a statement posted to LinkedIn. "We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and teammates all over the world.
"We would like to take a moment to acknowledge the significant impact he made over the years on different games that make up the rich history of our studio. For us, Emile was a close friend and a boundless source of positive energy. We all valued his passion and the way he told stories. We will never forget Emile and his immense contribution to the BGE2 universe will forever endure."
Morel's death was initially reported by game industry colleagues, who paid tribute to him on their own LinkedIn accounts (via IGN). "Rest in peace my dear Emile Morel," Ubisoft Montpellier producer Greg Hermittant wrote. "You've been such a great and kind partner during all these years at Ubisoft. I'm grateful to have worked with you on so many projects.
"Even through the most difficult times, you always remained the caring and supportive person you were with your beautiful positive mind."
"A cherished colleague for over a decade at Ubisoft Montpellier, we laughed and wept through good times and bad, and shipped a lot [of] great games together," former Beyond Good and Evil 2 narrative director M. Gabreille Shrager wrote. "Emile was so very proud of Beyond Good and Evil 2, the Space Monkeys, and his teammates. He will be sorely missed."
Morel joined Ubisoft in 2009, and worked on games including The Adventures of Tintin and Rayman Legends before moving to Beyond Good and Evil 2. Prior to that, he was at Eden Games for nearly four years, earning design credits on Alone in the Dark and Test Drive Unlimited 2.
A Kotaku report from February said Morel had been promoted to creative director on Beyond Good and Evil 2 as the result of a shakeup at developer Ubisoft Montpellier, sparked by a labor investigation into high levels of burnout and sick leave at the studio. He had previously served as associate creative director on the project, which has now been in development for more than 15 years.
"Be assured we will continue your work," Hermittant wrote.
A cause of death has not been announced.