Is Beyond Good and Evil 2 coming to the Nintendo Switch, or isn’t it? Is the game an exclusive? A timed exclusive? Hell, is the game really even in development?
We decided to put together a timeline of this rumor and how it evolved. We also wanted to look at each claim individually and explore whether it has come to fruition.
Before we continue any further, it’s important to remember that statements from companies, and individual developers, can not always be taken to be accurate. Michel Ancel, for example, literally three weeks before E3 said that Beyond Good and Evil 2 wouldn’t be at E3. As we all now know, that was incredibly inaccurate. In some of these situations with highly secretive games, statements from developers could be as accurate as rumors themselves.
March 3, 2016
It appears that the first Nintendo-related Beyond Good and Evil 2 rumor surfaced on Destructoid well over a year ago. The report, written by Laura Kate Dale, alleged several key details. First off, the article stated that Nintendo was funding Beyond Good and Evil 2 much in the same way as Bayonetta 2. As a result, the game was supposed to be an NX exclusive. Remember, at this point, we still didn’t have a formal Switch announcement. Allegedly, the title was supposed to be out in 2017.
That seems rather interesting, considering Beyond Good and Evil 2 was recently confirmed by Michel Ancel to be in “day zero of development.” It seems that the game is actually quite a ways off.
In her report, Dale credited her information to two sources. The first was Alexander Maier, a journalist who has published the rumors of “Geno” in the past. “Geno” is a leaker who has a rather spotty rumor record. Though he has been right in the past on details like new Pokemon forms, his rumors on the NX were virtually all incorrect.
There was also a second source who gave similar details as Geno. However, Dale confirmed to me that neither of these leakers actually worked within Ubisoft.
October 17, 2016
At this point, Laura Kate Dale published another report on her own website, Let’s Play Video Games. This report seemed to be far more accurate than the previous one in terms of details that have come to fruition. Dale reported that the title “is planned to be more of a standalone reboot than a traditional sequel.” This detail has, of course, turned out to be correct. However, she also wrote that the new game would “continue to extrapolate on the ending of the original game.” Given that Beyond Good and Evil 2 looks to be a prequel, this detail is not wholly accurate.
She also wrote that there were plans for a CG trailer, to be treated as “a tone piece rather than a plot or gameplay reveal.” That detail turned out to be true. However, Dale also wrote that this trailer would be revealed alongside a Switch announcement, which it was not.
Essentially, what we’re learning so far is that there are pieces of the rumors that are turning out to be true. However, not all the rumors have come to fruition. The rumors could have just been completely inaccurate, which is entirely possible. However, years since its announcement, it is clear that Beyond Good and Evil 2 has had a turbulent development process. Ideas and plans could have swung back and forth at any given moment. Perhaps the title was actually planned to be revealed as a Switch game in October of last year. But, it’s been seven months since then; reveal plans could have easily vacillated since that time.
January 3, 2017
In January, Laura Kate Dale tweeted that Beyond Good and Evil 2 would still be coming to Switch, but as a 12-month timed exclusive.
At this point, there’s a detail that is important to note. Whereas in previous rumors, Dale relied on two sources outside the company for information, beginning in January her Ubisoft rumors came from a single source inside Ubisoft. This source has reportedly had a far better track record. According to Dale, this source was the one that told her the name of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, gave a September release target for the title (the title is releasing August 29), and named Grant Kirkhope as the composer. All three of these details were pretty much correct. The source also told her that Rayman would be shown off as a Switch game during the January event. That turned out to be true as well. Given this information, it seems this new internal Ubisoft source has been far more reliable.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was re-revealed with a CG trailer during the Ubisoft press conference, and a Switch version of the title still remains a possibility, albeit an unknown one. Here’s what we know for sure about its prospects:
First off, no platforms have been confirmed for the title. However, as credible as we can believe Michel Ancel to be, we know that the title is not a Switch exclusive. At least, he says, “as far as I know.”
We also know the game is being developed in the Snowdrop game engine. This engine is a proprietary Ubisoft engine, but one that runs on the Switch. In fact, the new Mario + Rabbids game runs in the Snowdrop engine. However, this doesn’t mean the game is for sure launching on the Switch. The new South Park title is also developed in Snowdrop, and that title is skipping a Switch release entirely.
We also wanted to point out a quick clarification regarding the tweet that Ubisoft Spain sent out via its Twitter account seemingly confirming the existence of the title on the Switch. Apparently, the headline in the tweet matched up exactly to the text in the article; it is likely that the tweet simply auto-filled based off what was written in the news piece. The information has since been updated in the news article itself and the tweet has been deleted.
Finally, Dale still maintains that the title will be a one-year exclusive to the Switch. However, this information is somewhat out of date. When contacted for more information, Dale told me that she last spoke with her source in March for an update on Beyond Good and Evil 2’s exclusivity status. As previously noted, development details for a title so early in development can easily change and adjust. Even in the last few months, exclusivity agreements could have been altered and adjusted.
After all, as we all know, this wouldn’t be the first case of an Ubisoft title launching for other platforms after originally being planned as an exclusive.