Game development legend Michel Ancel, best known as the creator of the Rayman series, has announced his retirement from the industry today.
Ancel shared the news on his personal Instagram account, telling fans that he’s decided to stop working on games to focus on his second passion, wildlife. “My new project takes place in the real world and consists in a wildlife open sanctuary dedicated to education, nature lovers and wild animals,” he said.
He goes on to confirm that both WiLD and Beyond Good & Evil 2, two titles previously under his supervision, are “going super well”, and that fans of the two games shouldn’t be worried.
Everyone here at Nintendo Life wishes you the very best in your new journey, Michel. Congratulations on a wonderful career in the industry.
Ryan can list the first 151 Pokémon all in order off by heart – a feat he calls his ‘party trick’ despite being such an introvert that he’d never be found anywhere near a party. He’d much rather just have a night in with Mario Kart and a pizza, and we can’t say we blame him.
That’s been really a great career, he made some games that I consider among the most impressive ones. Congratulations!
I feel its a loss to the industry, I always felt he deserved to be at a publisher better than Ubisoft. The man put care and attention in his work…even the Rabbids game and he turned he did a fantastic job in making a King Kong game.
So I think it’s assumed Beyond Good and Evil 2 s beyond vaporware at this point
Rayman Legends…. the only game I own on three systems. Truly one of the most underrated and unappreciated games.
Rayman 2 still remains a favorite game of mine. Enjoy the retirement and be careful in the wild life.
@TheFrenchiestFry “He goes on to confirm that both WiLD and Beyond Good & Evil 2, two titles previously under his supervision, are “going super well”, and that fans of the two games shouldn’t be worried.”
Good call to move on before he’s too old and bitter to bring brightness to his new project! ^^
I wish him all the best with his wildlife project. Rayman 3 is still my favourite game in the series that he worked on.
Good for him… I wish he could have made another 3D platformer with the level of polish of Rayman Legends…
Merci beaucoup mon ami, Rayman, je le adore! Bonne chance est profitez bien, vous le merite xx
@Tourtus Yeah you can say GOING WELL all you want but it’s literally PR talk for the sake of allieviating fans’ worries
Just like how Reggie repeatedly reiterated Metroid Prime 4 was going well before development restarted, or how Atlus repeatedly stated Persona 5 was intended to release in 2015 right before it got delayed to 2016.
Still really looking forward to Wild, if it ever shows up. Pretty bummed with BG&E 2’s direction. Sad to see him go, but I wish him well. Thanks for the great memories, monsieur Ancel.
Rayman isn’t in good hands, but rest assured, those interested in his next project definitely are.
Ancel was probably the best thing at Ubisoft, and a gaming legend. It’s sad to know we’ll never get another Rayman. Sure Ubi will create something, but it won’t really be Rayman, without him. It’ll be a Ubisoft game.
To me it says it all about what Ubisoft has become internally if their greatest creator is basically saying “screw it, I’m going off into the woods” before his dream project is even done. Ubi was once great, and I still appreciate Yves, but he’s lost control of his company.
I haven’t purchased Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition just yet, but I played the demo and it was fun – not to mention it looks drop-dead gorgeous. Though if I’m being honest, he deserved a way better publisher than Ubisoft.
That to me sounds like a life well lived! Good on him, we are only here once.
@Tourtus And you ought to consider the implications of what you’re saying before giving @TheFrenchiestFry or anybody else advice on how to comment. Do you really think Ancel would say, yeah, Beyond Good and Evil 2 was struggling before and now without his involvement is guaranteed to die so sorry everyone? Even if it were true? My first instinct was that it was essentially canceled, I read the entire article all the way through, and that little bit of attempted reassurance at the end did nothing to contradict that instinct but confirmed only that Ancient isn’t burning bridges as he departs, and nothing about the games themselves.
Well I’d want to get out of Ubisoft too but it’s a shame he’s leaving the whole industry behind.
Wish him all the best. Rayman Legends is a masterpiece and I have even more appreciation for the game as it was really one of the first games my son (now almost 8 years old) started playing on his own and really got into.
If I am being totally honest, Rayman was kind of like my son’s “Super Mario Bros.” in that it’s an accessible side-scroller with a clear cut goal (“run to the right”) and relatively simple controls. We played New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe on the Switch as I was trying to indoctrinate him with Mario, but frankly speaking the game can’t hold a candle to Rayman Legends.
I’ve showed him other Super Mario side scrollers, but they seem outdated to him and just don’t really resonate with him the way Rayman does. Rayman Legends is his baseline for what a good side-scroller and good game design is and I am very ok with that being his “gold standard” at this point in his gaming career. The music / rhythm levels in those games are some of the most creative well executed levels I’ve played in years.
@JimmySpades BG&E 2 was clear to be a vaporware, or at least Duke Nukem: Forever disaster the moment they showed the trailer, even with Ancel on stage. It was a massive tone shift from the small cult first game and a massively overambitious attempt to make something overwhelmingly massive, with no sense of direction on what it was actually going to be, and seemed to have an unlimited budget to make “the biggest thing ever” without knowing what that actually is.
I imagine the game will eventually come out. They put too much money into it for it to be cancelled. But it will be critically panned and an incoherent mess, while trying to be something far grander than is in any way reasonable. I wouldn’t doubt they make it MMO.
I don’t know what happened to Ubi. They were the best of the big publishers while EA/Act/2k circled the drain. Ubi went a very different direction from those, but I’m not sure it’s a better one.
@rockodoodle I own Rayman Legends on Wii U, PC, Switch, Xbox One, VITA, PS3 and PS4. lol
I may own it on Xbox 360, but i’m not sure.
@Ventilator I bought it on WiiU first. Picked up a Vita and saw it for $10-$15, so I felt I might as well get it if for no other reason portability. And then I figured that it would be cool to have on the bigger screen of the Switch.
Sounds like a good time to take a break. Ubisoft has some reshuffling to do in there company as it is. Doesn’t mean he can’t come back and do a passion game with them or on his own with kickstart later down the line.
1. The state of the environment. Man wants to do his part and best of luck to him.
2. Ubisoft. The company is not the same as it was when Angel joined and he probably wanted to get out while it was good.
As a huge Rayman fan, this is heartbreaking. Sad to see him move on from his legacy, but I sincerely wish him the best of luck and happiness in his future endeavors. Thank you, Michel Ancel, for making one of my favorite games of all time, Rayman 2.
@rockodoodle Cool. After playing all versions, i prefer it most on Wii U because of murphy touch screen movement. that were also the original design of the game.
Replaced by Y button on all other versions.
Imo one of the best platform game creator after miyamoto, has left the industry. It not something taken lightly.
Can be because ubisoft did not care about rayman anymore, why he is leaving, who knows.
Rayman 2, legends and origins are one of the finest platform games ever made, and im gonna miss this guy, because i have a feeling we wont see rayman, teensies, and globox for along time.
@Ventilator I think I payed full price for the Switch version. Taking one for the team to support a third party for the system
Seriously though, good for him. He has always been very active and known even if he never had a huge impact like other famous developers and his games has always been more niche. The Rabbids may have been an exception but that has gone on another path for some time now.
@rockodoodle I already supported UBI alot.
There is over 130 registered UBI games on my Uplay account.
I wish him good luck in that new career, it looks really interesting.I also have a certain interest for these topics. But of course, I can balance it with other interests, combining them even more. I bet that’s what led to the creation of WiLD.
The first Beyond Good and Evil is fantastic and creative. A simple platformer with a photography element. With the time in development, it seems they are making it too elaborate and possibly against what made the first one good.
I always thought that Michel Ancel was the best thing at Ubisoft. It truly is a sad day knowing that his unique creativity will never grace another Ubisoft product. I had high hopes for his vision of Beyond Good and Evil 2, but my expectations for that game are now basically non existent.
I am intimately aware of what creative differences can do within a studio environment. If Michel has decided to leave production before his Magnum Opus is complete, this tells me all I need to know about the state of that game and how different and far from Michel’s original vision it has strayed…
I wish him all the best in his new endeavours. He’ll be missed in this industry for sure.
That is really cool he is helping with a wildlife reserve. I wish him the best! I love games, but nothing beats the feeling of helping out with animals and nature.
Michel Ancel, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Rayman, Rayman 2: The Great Escape, Ubisoft Montpellier
World news – US – Rayman Creator Michel Ancel Announces Retirement From The Games Industry