Michel Ancel, best known as the creator of Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil, says he’s retiring from video games to work on a wildlife sanctuary. The Ubisoft veteran announced his departure earlier today on Instagram, but assured fans that his projects would live on without him.
Under a caption of a video post, Ancel said that “after more than 30 years, I’ve decided to stop working on video games and focus fully on my second passion: Wildlife!” Further down, he says “many of you might want to know what will happen to Wild and BGE2,” referencing his two ongoing projects at Ubisoft. “No worries, since many months now the teams are autonomous and the projects are going super well.” He even teases “beautiful things to be seen soon.”
Ancel’s words are followed up by an official update from Ubisoft, which claims that the company is “committed to remaining true to [Ancel’s] vision.” It also reiterates the fact that Ancel “hasn’t been directly involved in BG&E2 for some time now, as the team have been hard at work building on top of the solid creative foundation he helped shape.” There’s no exact word on the ongoing schedule, but senior producer Guillaume Brunier says that “we have a lot more to do,” and that “we are aiming to share more and show you the game in action sometime next year.”
There’s no further word on Wild, Ancel’s open world survival game.
Ancel was the original concept creator and lead designer on the first Rayman game, which released in 1995, and directed, designed, and wrote 2003’s Beyond Good & Evil. Possibly his most enduring creation, however, are the Rabbids, who he designed for their dedicated 2006 game.