Rayman creator heading up new indie studio and staying at Ubisoft
August 1, 2014 // 11:41 a.m.
Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel is heading up a new indie studio, Wild Sheep, based in Montpellier.
At Wild Sheep, Ancel will head up a team of 12 other experienced developers on an original title.
Whilst this sort of move for a developer normally means leaving their previous employment, Ancel will continue to stay on at Ubisoft Montpellier where he leads creative development of several projects.
Talking to Polygon, studio managing director Xavier Poix said that Ancel is currently working on ‘an extremely ambitious new title that is very close to his and the team’s heart’ which could be a reference to the long awaited Beyond Good & Evil 2, but this was neither confirmed nor denied.
Ancel joined Ubisoft as a graphic artist approximately 25 years ago at the age of 17. In 1995, the original Rayman, the first game he directed, was released for the Atari Jaguar. It was then released on the Playstation and Sega Saturn a year later and has spawned numerous sequels with the latest in the series, Rayman Legends, coming out last year.
He also went on to create the critically acclaimed Beyond Good & Evil in 2003 which earned Ancel the attention of Peter Jackson, who handed him control of the King Kong video game adaptation after Jackson was frustrated with how EA had dealt with the Lord of the Rings.