For many reasons, we included Beyond Good and Evil 2 in our list of ten games we can’t believe are still technically in development (opens in new tab). In fact, we led with it: That piggy in the picture at the top of the list is Pey’j, the mentor and adoptive uncle of lead character Jade.
There’s a good reason for that choice. Beyond Good and Evil 2 was announced in 2008 and we’ve been doing “it’s still happening” posts since at least 2014 (opens in new tab), yet all these years later it’s still just a title and a bit of concept art: Ubisoft won’t even commit to maybe—maybe!—having it out in 2024 (opens in new tab). Yet faint signs of life persist, most recently in the form of a new lead writer: Sarah Arellano, who announced the new gig on Twitter.
Prior to the move to Ubisoft, Arellano was the narrative designer on Super Evil Megacorp’s 2015 MOBA Vainglory (opens in new tab). Her LinkedIn (opens in new tab) account indicates that she also served as a writer at Deep Silver Volition (her Twitter account says she worked on the Saints Row reboot), and as a narrative designer on World of Warcraft at Blizzard. That’s a pretty impressive run.
“We are very happy to welcome Sarah who is one of the latest recruits on Beyond Good and Evil 2,” a Ubisoft spokesperson said in an email sent to PC Gamer. “The development team is hard at work to deliver on the promise made to its community.”
As for what it means for Beyond Good and Evil 2, that’s anyone’s guess at this point. The hiring of a new lead writer is the closest thing to a real sign of life we’ve seen in years (and the Ubisoft rep noted that the company is hiring for other positions at its Montpellier studio (opens in new tab), which is working on the game), but it’s also easy to view it as a sign that the whole thing is mired and may well be starting over. That’s obviously not a great place to be after 15 years of supposed work.
At the same time, well, does it really matter? Even if development is being completely rebooted, what’s the loss? Beyond Good and Evil 2 barely exists as a concept in the public consciousness, much less an actual game in development, and it’s not as if there was a realistic expectation of a release sometime within the next couple of years—or, quite frankly, even beyond that.