Last week, Ubisoft announced that Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel had, after 30 years with the company, left to work at a wildlife sanctuary. A new article from French newspaper Libération has shed additional light on his departure, however, reporting that it followed an investigation into complaints accusing him of toxic leadership.
According to Kotaku, based on its own translation of the Libération article, many of the complaints relate to Ancel’s behaviour during the creation of Beyond Good and Evil 2, which is said to be directly linked to game’s troubled development. Ancel’s management of the project reportedly resulted in constant changes and fluctuations in scope, leading to “an unusual amount of [staff] exhaustion, depression, and burnout”.
An additional translation from ICO Partners CEO Thomas Bidaux on Twitter cites one Beyond Good and Evil 2 team member as saying, “I have seen a good dozen people go on sick leave, probably more…Meeting people with tears in their eyes, it happens often.” Another source says of Ancel, “He is able to explain to you that you are a genius, that your idea is great, and then he can take you apart in meetings by saying that you are a piece of shit, that your work is worthless, and not talk to you for a month.”