Beyond Good and Evil 2 has broken Duke Nukem Forever's record for longest game development time

A shot of Beyond Good and Evil 2 showing an anthropomorphic pig man
(Image credit: Ubisoft)
Audio player loading…

The 15-year journey of Beyond Good and Evil 2 has wearily passed another milestone: it's been in development even longer than Duke Nukem Forever, the game which still holds (though presumably not for long) the Guinness World Record for "Longest development period for a videogame".

Well, actually, BG&E2 officially crossed that threshold about a hundred days ago, it's just taken us all this long to notice. As originally pointed out by GamesIndustry.biz editor Brendan Sinclair (opens in new tab), the painful labour that brought us Duke Nukem Forever lasted 5,156 days. BG&E 2's first trailer (opens in new tab) came out on May 30, 2008: 5,239 days ago. Heck, the game had already been in development for a year or so when that trailer dropped, so it's actually been even longer.

A few people have pointed out that the original description and trailer for BG&E 2 bear little resemblance to the version of the game that trailered at E3 2018 (opens in new tab), suggesting the comparison with Duke Nukem might be unfair. To be honest, though, a quick scan through the many and varied trailers that came out for Duke Nukem Forever (opens in new tab) over the years shows a game that kept shifting in size, scope, and staff. We even saw an unreleased build of it (opens in new tab) earlier this year that bore little resemblance to the Duke Nukem we got in 2011. For my money, the comparison is a fair one.

It's a dubious honour, to say the least. Ubisoft continues to insist—to our astonishment (opens in new tab)—that the game is still in the works, and it was only two months ago that BG&E 2 got a new lead writer (opens in new tab), so presumably something is still happening with the project. Still, after 15 years, and with the series' creator (if you can call it a series) leaving Ubisoft amid accusations of toxic mismanagement (opens in new tab), it's very, very hard to maintain optimism for the game even for die-hard nostalgics like me.

I maintain that we will, one day, see the release of a game with 'Beyond Good and Evil' in its title, though I might be in my dotage when it happens. In the meantime, I suppose I'll sit and wait for the BG&E movie that Netflix announced (opens in new tab) two years ago, and reflect on rosy childhood memories of roaming the waters of Hillys (opens in new tab).

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.