It was a shock to see Beyond Good and Evil 2 on stage during Ubisoft's E3 conference earlier this week, particularly when creator Michel Ancel previously suggested it wouldn't appear at the show at all.
The game's blatant shift in tone divided fans of the original on social media, despite only showing off some well engineered CGI footage in lieu of actual gameplay. In an interview with The Verge (via Videogamer), despite the hype, Ancel has now described the status of Beyond Good and Evil 2 as at "day zero of development"—which speaks directly to this omission.
The Verge reports that Ubisoft Montpellier first started working on a solar system simulation tool that would power the game's world three years ago, but that work on the actual game itself has only just begun.
"When you don’t have this technology, you can’t really start the game," says Ancel. "It’s too difficult. But now we can say for sure that we will make this game, we’ll finish it. Because we have the technology for it." It is here that Ancel bills BG&E 2's current status as at "day zero of development."
The rest of The Verve's interview, while interesting, sees Ancel speculating about what Beyond Good and Evil 2 might become down the line—and why it's difficult to explicitly pin that down at this stage.
Don't get me wrong: the cinematic shown off this week looked gorgeous, but I'm now left feeling a little cold given how long this one's supposedly been being worked on. Its E3 outing was clearly a doff of the cap to the original's supporters—not to mention a chance to promote the game's Space Monkey Program—however the thought that it's got a few, or even several, years to go makes the current fanfare feel forced.
In case you missed it, here's what Ubisoft showcased on Monday: