Rayman and Beyond Good and Evil creator Michel Ancel has announced he’s leaving the video game industry.
The designer, who had been working on Beyond Good and Evil 2 and adventure game Wild, claimed in an Instagram post on Friday that he’d decided to focus on a new career in wildlife.
Ancel said his decision to step away from the games industry would not affect Beyond Good and Evil 2 or Wild development.
“Today is very special for me. After more than 30 years, I’ve decided to stop working on video games and fully focus on my second passion: Wildlife,” he wrote.
“My new project takes place in the real world and consists in a wildlife open sanctuary dedicated to education, nature lovers and … wild animals.
“Many of you might want to know what will happen to Wild and BGE2. No worries, since many months now the teams are autonomous and the projects are going super well. Beautiful things to be seen soon.”
The French video game designer is best known for his more-than-20-years work at Ubisoft, where he created the Rayman series of games and directed cult classic action adventure title Beyond Good and Evil.
Most recently Ancel was involved in the development of a sequel to BGE, and in 2014 he had formed an independent games studio called Wild Sheep, which later announced pre-historic survival game called Wild.
Wild – a PlayStation exclusive published by Sony Interactive Entertainment – was announced at Gamescom in 2014 but little has been seen of it since.
Ancel is one of few video games creators knighted by the French Minister of Culture and Communication, including Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto.
Ubisoft said in a statement issued to VGC: “Today Ubisoft announces that Michel Ancel has chosen to leave the video game industry after an exceptional career spanning more than 30 years.
“A nature-lover, Michel has been working on a personal project dedicated to the protection of wildlife for a long time. This project, a wildlife sanctuary in the region of Montpellier, France, is now growing in scope, and he wishes to put his full effort into this longstanding passion.
“Michel is at the origin of some of Ubisoft and the video game industry’s most beloved franchises, including Rayman, the Raving Rabbids and Beyond Good and Evil, whose second opus, Beyond Good and Evil 2 is currently in development. The teams at Ubisoft Montpellier are currently focusing on the main stages of production, aligned with the vision set out by Michel. They will have more to share with their community of fans in the months to come.
“We would like to thank Michel for the incredible creative vision he has brought to Ubisoft over the course of his career, and wish him all the best for this new venture.”
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Michel Ancel, Rayman, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Ubisoft, Wild
World news – GB – Rayman creator Michel Ancel says he’s quit the games industry | VGC