The lights are on
Michel Ancel, the creator of Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil, has announced that he is founding a new studio reportedly called Wild Sheep. He will continue his work at Ubisoft while pursuing his new venture.
Though Wild Sheep would be an independent studio, Ubisoft says that Ancel is working on a number of projects at Ubisoft Montpellier and those will continue on course. “Ubisoft Montpellier is a hotbed for artistic game development, including great games like Rayman, Beyond Good and Evil, and Valiant Hearts,” said Ubisoft Annecy, Paris, and Montpellier managing director Xavier Poix in an emailed statement. “We are fortunate to have some of the industry’s finest talents, including Michel Ancel, working with us at our studio. In addition to spending some of his time on this new venture, Michel is leading the creative development of select projects at Ubisoft Montpellier, including an extremely ambitious new title that is very close to his and the team’s heart.”
Ancel was also the lead on Rayman Raving Rabbids for Wii, which is of particular importance to Ubisoft. One of the minigames found in that title was the precursor to the new annual Just Dance series, which has sold over 48 million units.
[Source: Ubisoft via Oliver Bal (Jeux Video) on Twitter]
Our TakeI’m hopeful that Ancel and Ubisoft can balance these initiatives. The last time we heard of a major figure in the industry splitting his time, it was John Carmack. As you might recall, that hasn’t ended so well for id or Oculus.
I also hope that this ambitious new title is Beyond Good & Evil 2. Then again, I always hope that game is coming, and will cling to whatever chance their might be.