Beyond Good and Evil 2 Director Resigned Amid Investigation for Toxic Behavior

Gabrielle Shrager, Michel Ancel
Michel Ancel, right, left Ubisoft after 30 years with the company. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Rayman creator and former Beyond Good and Evil 2 director Michel Ancel resigned from his role at Ubisoft amidst a company investigation into alleged toxic behavior, Ubisoft confirmed Friday.

Ancel had been at Ubisoft for over 30 years when he announced his retirement Sept. 18. French newspaper Libération reported Friday he had been, and remains, under investigation for toxic management tactics. Ancel confirmed the investigation to Libération, and Ubisoft echoed that confirmation later that day.

"[Ubisoft CEO] Yves Guillemot committed back in July that any allegation will be investigated and no one will be outside of that process–and this would include Michel Ancel," reads Ubisoft's statement. "And as Michel confirmed to the journalist at 'Liberation,' he is under investigation. The investigation is still ongoing and we have nothing further to share as we respect the confidentiality of this investigation."

Libération's report describes Ancel as being so difficult Ubisoft was forced to bring in other managers to limit the number of people with whom he interacted while working on the seven-year development of Beyond Good and Evil 2. Employees say Ancel constantly changed the scope of the game and demanded reworks, leading to exhaustion, depression, and burnout among the members of the development team.

Neither Ancel nor Ubisoft mentioned the investigation when initially discussing Ancel's departure from gaming.

The Ancel investigation and departure is the latest in a string of public reckonings with toxicity and abuse for Ubisoft. Chief creation officer Serge Hascoët was among the most high profile departures, leaving the company in July.