Beyond Good & Evil 2 'More Accessible' Than Original, Says Ubisoft

By Nick Breckon, May 29, 2008 10:25pm PDT The sequel to Ubisoft's action-adventure title Beyond Good & Evil will appeal to casual gamers moreso than the first game, Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot said at the recent Ubidays press event in Paris.

"We saw with Beyond Good & Evil that so many customers were extremely happy with the game," said Guillemot to Next-Gen. "We had a different audience at that time. We had more core gamers than casual gamers than we have today."

"We think the game was probably a little too difficult for the general gamers at that time. We're going to make [Beyond Good & Evil 2] more accessible and make sure that it's really done for the new generation that's come into video games."

Beyond Good & Evil was a hit with critics after its release in 2003, but ended up a financial disappointment for Ubisoft. The game has since gathered a cult following of fans.

The sequel was announced by Ubisoft earlier this week. Series creator Michel Ancel is on board to helm the anticipated project.

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  • Let me explain why this is a poor move for Ubisoft, from a very business-oriented POV.

    Any company that hopes to survive will recognize that innovation is important. Not every game need be innovative - in fact, most probably should NOT - but you do need to innovate here and there, or risk boring your consumers or losing out in new opportunities. And innovation is risky, so when you have an opportunity to innovate with less risk, you should take it.

    I would argue that BG&E2 is an opportunity for Ubisoft to innovate with less risk. The fan base is hardcore and dedicated, with tons of nostalgia. That affords you a few important characteristics:

    1) Graphics do not need to be amazing. People loved BG&E mainly for the story, and such a fan base will not demand "next gen" graphics. You don't need to spend a huge budget trying to make it the next Assassin's Creed or GTA. This saves you tons of money on production.
    2) Since the fan base is very hardcore, they will be interested in and willing to learn new game play mechanics. So you can try something innovative and see if it sticks. I'm sure Ancel wouldn't mind trying something really new.
    3) Unless you totally screw up and betray the fan base (like they may be doing now), the fan base will support the game. If it is innovative and has the same magic as the first, many will probably buy the game even if it isn't perfect. Even if the graphics are last-gen. Even if the difficulty curve is broken.

    Ubisoft should see this as an opportunity to make a game that innovates for the hardcore community, without a AAA budget. They certainly need to address the "casual" market, but is this really the franchise to do it with? How many non-hardcore gamers even know what BG&E is? Ubisoft is wasting a great opportunity here, trying to leverage a fan base from a completely different market.

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