Former Ubisoft chief creative officer Serge Hascoët reportedly canceled a medieval RPG from former Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw.
As reported by Bloomberg (opens in new tab) (via PC Gamer (opens in new tab)), the project was a fantasy RPG with elements of magic and swordplay that would've been loosely based on the historical figure King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Codenamed Avalon, the project was canceled late last year following disputes with Hascoët over the fantasy setting.
The creative boss apparently wasn't the biggest fan of fantasy games, and after rejecting several other pitches from the development team, settled on Avalon with the kicker that it'd better be "better than Tolkien." Reportedly, Laidlaw and his team made several compromises placating Hascoët, but to no avail. Much to the surprise of several of the developers, the executive's influence eventually prevailed and Laidlaw left Ubisoft Quebec in January of this year. Hascoët himself left Ubisoft in July of this year following allegations of misconduct.
It's a shame Avalon never saw the light of day. With Laidlaw at the helm, a reportedly sizable budget funding the game, and elements of online co-op roughly akin to Monster Hunter, the Arthurian fantasy RPG could've been something really special. Hopefully, with a new creative lead at Ubisoft, developers won't be so constrained by the tastes of a superior not even working on the project.