Well, there was some disappointing news this week for fans of Beyond Good & Evil: Ubisoft confirmed that the game will definitely not make an appearance at E3 2019, but they reassured us all that it was proceeding nicely and meeting its development milestones on schedule. Still, this isn’t much comfort for those of us that were hoping to get at least a glimpse of this upcoming title.
What Ubisoft did give us was a look at some hot concept art, as well as a developer live stream, so that we could try to see how everything is coming along. In the world of Beyond Good & Evil, the concept is that basically everything is a clone and that the DNA from different species is meshed together in hybrid forms. It’s a pretty trippy concept, but it is one that has amazing resonance among the gaming community.
The central conflict in Beyond Good & Evil is the gathering of a precious resource and the player’s choices with regard to how he or she interacts with the world and its creatures. Towards this end, the sequel will put a much larger emphasis on player choice and how it impacts the world around them in a less linear fashion than the first game. While the first game was a pretty much on-rails experience for most of us, the sequel promises an open-world experience as is almost required these days to be competitive.
And this is why we think Beyond Good & Evil 2 is not being shown off at E3 2019. While Ubisoft has a knack for churning out games with open-world elements, that doesn’t mean that making them is easy. In fact, it is quite the opposite to be sure. Not only are open-world games extremely hard to program but also they’re quirky in how the various parts have to seamlessly work together. Showing off something janky and garbage would do more damage to Beyond Good & Evil 2 than any delay, and Ubisoft knows this.
Another thing that might be impacting Beyond Good & Evil 2 and is harder to quantify is that the next console generation is nearly upon us. This might be a wait-and-see kind of thing for Ubisoft to see if the next generation would be better suited for the game. Or it could be that the company is planning on releasing on both newer and older systems. Either way, the transition from one console generation to another is always a weird thing. Triple-A games that would have been blockbuster successes anytime other time often get lost in this period. Given how expensive game development is, this is really a risk that Ubisoft just can’t take – especially with a property like Beyond Good & Evil.
So when do we think we will see something more about Beyond Good & Evil 2? Probably whenever the picture with the next console generation becomes clearer. Until then, we think Ubisoft is going to play its cards close to its chest and resist revealing too much one way or the other.