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Ubisoft feels "guilty" for BG&E flop

HD revamp not a "quick and dirty port".

Ubisoft still feels sore over the failure of cult 2003 adventure favourite Beyond Good & Evil to set tills ringing, according to the producer of the forthcoming HD makeover.

"Everyone at Ubisoft knows that Beyond Good & Evil did not get the success it should have had, and, in my opinion, everyone feels a little guilty about that," Wang Xu told Eurogamer.

Consequently, the publisher is pulling out all the stops to make sure the HD version, which arrives on Xbox Live Arcade next week, is done right, Xu insisted.

"From the beginning expectations were set very high: this would not be a quick and dirty port to make a quick buck, but instead a polished HD overhaul that would do justice to the greatness of the original, no matter how much time and resources would be needed.

"And it was great to see the entire group mobilised to ensure the IP finally starts to get the consideration it deserves."

Xu went on to explain that even though original creator Michel Ancel wasn't directly involved, he regularly stopped by to ensure the project was on track.

"Michel was always very clear on what he wanted for the game. We had regular milestones to show the game's progress, and to get his feedback and approval.

"For instance, one thing he really insisted on was to push the frame rate to a constant 60 frame per second as it was part what he thinks of a complete next-generation HD experience."

The team apparently resisted any temptation to make any gameplay tweaks, although a more lavish collector's edition was considered.

"It's like re-mastering a movie classic. You don't want to mess with the original; people love it as it is, and it is so special...

"I would have loved to push the collector aspect even further. Kind of like what the Criterion collection does for movies. Do a director's cut version with a few leftover from the originals. Add an Original Version mode in French with English subtitles, etc."

When asked whether all this was enough to ensure that the game reaches a wider audience second time around, Xu was optimistic. This time around it has a dedicated fanbase ready to evangelise the game, he explained.

"We have a huge asset we didn't have back then – great fans who are very supportive, and are great at explaining the game and sharing their love for it. Also, Beyond Good & Evil has held up very well and, in my opinion, it remains one of the best adventure games on the market."

"Beyond Good & Evil's appeal is in its unique art style, its immersive story and strong characterization, the richness of it world... These are timeless qualities," he added.

"Plus the game was really ahead of its time. Cinematic presentation, top-notch production values, AI companions, huge diversity of gameplay styles... they are all mainstays of current-generation games, but keep in mind Beyond Good & Evil had all these back in 2003.

You can see for yourself how well the game has aged when it hits Xbox Live Arcade on 2nd March. A PlayStation Network release is also planned, although no release has yet been confirmed.

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