A week after the surprise announcement of Michel Ancel's departure from Ubisoft, Liberation goes behind the scenes of his resignation in an investigation into the development of his latest game, Beyond Good and Evil 2. Burn-outs, "Toxic methods", bad relationship with the teams.. The newspaper relates closer to seven years of hardship.

"An ubiquitous organization, thought around his person ". At Ubisoft Montpellier, the studio loaded for more than 7 years now in the development of the video game Beyond Good and Evil 2, it's been relief for a few days. The departure of the creative director, Michel Ancel, Rayman's father and true Ubisoft star, far from confusing the teams, seems to have lifted a weight from many shoulders.

A week to the day after the announcement that Michel Ancel, rayman's father, has left Ubisoft and the world of video games for good, Liberation returns this 25 September 2020 on the underside of his departure in a long investigation and in an interview with the former creative.

The revelations come as the group has been in turmoil for months, following revelations from Numerama and Liberation about the deleterious atmosphere within the Editorial department, of a culture of harassment and inaction from the human resources department for years.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is one of Ubisoft's flagship projects, thought to be an open world endowed with "disproportionate technical ambitions" which should allow the group to compete with the references of the genre, such as The Witcher or Skyrim. But the project accumulates delays and the teams disappointed. The daily tells in particular the confusion of the teams, had to throw months of work in the trash because Michel Ancel would finally have changed his mind. One of the employees reports the example of the city of the game, Ganesh City, which had to be redone "four or five times".

To journalists, studio employees also report mood swings on the part of the creative, sometimes laudatory, sometimes belittling. "He is able to explain to you that you are a genius, how great your idea is, and then disassemble you in a meeting saying that you are shit ", can we read in particular in the pages of Liberation. Among Ubisoft Montpellier employees, les burn-outs, depressions and requests for transfers are commonplace. "To meet a colleague with tears in his eyes, it happens often ", another studio employee reports to Liberation.

Michel Ancel's behavior had long been known to the administration of Ubisoft. Yves Guillemot, to which he was one of the closest since the beginning of the company, he had renewed his confidence a few months ago, when he was already the subject of an internal investigation, Liberation teaches us. From 2017, the CSE had alerted the CEO, no result. "Michel Ancel has a status equivalent to other stars in the field", would he have declared at the time, "It's up to human resources to find ways to protect the people who work with him".

And in fact, to protect the teams as best they can, the entire organization of the Montpellier studio has been designed to limit its interactions with employees, describes the newspaper. Part of the team nevertheless remains "traumatized" by this experience.

Asked by Liberation journalists about the internal investigation that was underway on him, Michel Ancel explains that he "knew it was going to happen", and believes that if his actions were "reprehensible[s], in fine, the box will come out better ". On the "disturbing" coincidence between his retirement and the Liberation investigation, Michel Ancel explains, however, not "to see too much the link". "It's not like, suddenly, I left a full time on BGE2 to go make burgers on the Croisette ”.

Last week, when announcing his departure from the video game industry, some people working at Ubisoft Montpellier, however, confided to Numerama seeing it as an attempt to preserve the reputation of Rayman's father before the publication of too compromising material against him.

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In progress (4 min) : Liberation investigated "the dark side" of the game Beyond Good and Evil 2 from Ubisoft

Source: https://www.numerama.com/pop-culture/651412-liberation-a-enquete-sur-le-cote-obscure-du-jeu-beyond-good-and-evil-2-dubisoft.html

Michel Ancel, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Rayman, Ubisoft Montpellier, Yves Guillemot

World news – FR – Liberation investigated "the dark side" of the game Beyond Good and Evil 2 from Ubisoft

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