Ubisoft Montpellier reportedly mired in staff turmoil
Ubisoft Montpellier, the studio working on development hell sequel Beyond Good & Evil 2, is facing another setback with the departure of managing director, Guillaume Carmona, who has reportedly left the company amidst an investigation into the studio’s work environment.
According to a report from Kotaku, Ubisoft Montpellier is currently under investigation by the Inspection du Travail, who became involved with the studio after an “unprecedented number of developers [began] experiencing burnout and going on sick leave”. According to Kotaku’s sources close to the situation, “dozens” of Montpellier employees, including project leads, have been taking extended periods of time from work, usually citing stress, burnout, or other forms of sickness.
As the Inspection du Travail’s investigation continues, staff have been reportedly informed of Carmona’s departure — the MD reportedly having been absent from the studio since the start of 2023. Kotaku also claims that there have been major shifts in leadership in the development of Beyond Good and Evil 2, with the sequel’s game director, Benjamin Dumaz, and senior creative director, Jean-Marc Geffroy, being replaced by Charles Gaudron and Emile Morel, respectively.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 was originally teased way back in 2008, before essentially dropping off the map for almost a decade. A cinematic trailer was premiered at E3 2018, along with a beta expectation for 2019, but the project has only seen repeated delays since then, with nary a new clip of gameplay footage, consumer demo, or further cinematic trailers surfacing in the interim. Most recently, the sequel was hit by a further delay in January, alongside news that the publisher was canceling multiple projects.
BG&E series creator Michel Ancel left Ubisoft in 2020 amidst previous investigations into widespread accusations of toxicity throughout the publisher. At the time, Ancel claimed that his departure and the allegations at the studio were coincidental. These claims were disputed by Ubisoft Montpellier employees in a report by French newspaper Libération. Ubisoft has struggled in its efforts to repair its company image in the wake of these investigations.
Beyond Good And Evil 2 Studio Head No Longer At Ubisoft [Kotaku]