Beyond Good & Evil 2 studio reportedly under investigation for ‘unprecedented’ burnout and sick leave

Ubisoft Montpellier – the studio behind the extremely long-in-development Beyond Good & Evil 2 – is reportedly facing upheaval as it grapples with a labor investigation into “unprecedented” levels of staff stress and illness, and the departure of its chief executive.

As reported by Kotaku, Ubisoft Montpellier — perhaps best known for its work on the Rayman games under studio founder Michel Ancel, who left in 2020 amid allegations of toxic behavior — is currently being investigated by Montpellier’s Inspection du Travail due to an “unprecedented number of developers who experience burnout and are called in sick”.

According to the site’s sources, who were not authorized to speak about the issue and wished to remain anonymous, “dozens” of Ubisoft Montpellier developers, including “many” potential clients, have taken extended leave for stress or illness over the past year, with some choosing not to return – a situation that led to a visit from the French labor inspectorate in December.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 Trailer – E3 2017.

Kotaku says the visit resulted in the hiring of a third-party entity, which has now been tasked with interviewing Montpellier staff to provide a full report on the health and well-being of the studio teams – which Ubisoft has now confirmed.

“The health and well-being of our teams is an ongoing priority,” the publisher told Kotaku. “Given the length of the development cycle with Beyond Good & Evil 2, Montpellier’s development team is undergoing wellness assessments through a third party for preventative measures and to evaluate where additional support may be needed.”

As the Inspection du Travail continues its investigation into Ubisoft Montpellier, employees have reportedly been told that CEO Guillaume Carmona – who has reportedly been absent from the studio since the start of this year – has now left the company. Carmona had been with Ubisoft for nearly two decades and became head of the Montpellier studio in 2019.

Kotaku also highlights a number of other changes within the Beyond Good & Evil 2 team, with creative director Jean-Marc Geffroy reportedly replaced by the game’s former assistant director Emile Morel, while Charles Gaudron is now game director following the departure of Benjamin Dumaz.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 was first teased by Ubisoft in 2008, but wasn’t heard from again until 2017, with new information about its progress coming only sporadically since then. It’s another troubled title for struggling Ubisoft, which has only just managed to get The Settlers out the door after a tumultuous half-decade of delays, and is still struggling to release pirate adventure Skull & Bones after nearly ten years in development.

The project was recently delayed once again when Ubisoft confirmed the cancellation of three unannounced games – on top of the four games canceled last July – and a move to “increased caution over the coming years” following disappointing financial results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *