Michel Ancel has revealed that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is still in development with a very small team at Ubisoft's Montpellier studio.

"It will take time. Please have patience. I'm sorry," he told the audience at a Montpellier games conference (captured on video, and in French, by Crisy.fr).

Ancel said that he is experimenting with new development practices and tools on Beyond Good & Evil 2 so he can keep the number of staff working on it small and preserve its "artistic spirit".

"On this game, we're keeping the team small, to preserve creativity and so the game doesn't become a commercial product, so that is has soul," Ancel said.

He revealed that he's been working on tools that will do the same for game creation in 3D as the tools - demonstrated at the conference - being used by just five people to create 2D platformer Rayman Origins (which was revealed at E3).

"It takes a bit longer, but we're very keen to use this system with this game, because it's an ambitious game and we want to create something exceptional," he said.

The tools and techniques, Ancel said, were getting close to those used in cinema by the animators at Peter Jackson's effects house WETA Digital. Ancel was inspired by working with Jackson and WETA on the King Kong game.

"At its base, it's about using tools to preserve an artistic spirit," Ancel said. "Perhaps one day we'll be the WETA Digital of Montpellier, which would be superb. It will take some time.

"But we don't want to go too fast, and that's a shame it's true, because the project is taking a long time to come out... but we want this project to be truly exceptional.

"[Beyond Good & Evil 2] hasn't been abandoned, it's an ongoing project, and we hope to do it in this way using these tools, that's to say making a 3D game with very few people."

Beyond Good & Evil 2 was first announced back in May 2008 with a CG trailer (watch it below). It's in development for Xbox 360 and PS3.

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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