Beyond Good and Evil 2 is now the longest game stuck in development hell

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Over the weekend folks have discovered that Beyond Good and Evil 2 has now been in development for so long that whenever, if ever, it releases, it will exceed the development time of Duke Nukem Forever, the infamous and maligned sequel to Duke Nukem 3D.

GamesIndustry.biz managing editor Brendan Sinclair made the observation over the weekend via Twitter. “Duke Nukem Forever went 5,156 days from its announcement in 1997 to its release in 2011,” reads the tweet. “It has been 5,234 days since the first Beyond Good & Evil 2 trailer was released,” he added. 

Announced on April 27, 1997, Duke Nukem Forever had a tumultuous development at 3D Realms, undergoing many sudden shifts in engine technology and no clear plan in sight for what constituted a finished product before publisher GT Interactive initiated legal action against the studio. The game was eventually completed in 2011 by Triptych Games and Gearbox Software and was excoriated for its dated humor, lack of polish and simplistic mechanics.

Ubisoft began teasing of Beyond Good and Evil 2 back in 2008 through a CGI trailer about the project. Series creator Michel Ancel was reportedly already at work on the game for at least a year at that point. Over the course of several years, there was little update from Ubisoft other than repeated assurances that development continued.

In 2017, Ubisoft re-revealed the project through a huge E3 announcement, complete with a trailer and updates about the progress as well as their commitment towards the series. This went on for a couple of more years with the sporadic release of gameplay trailers and CGI trailers, including one featuring original star Jade.

Aside from their Space Monkey Reports and the occasional blog, updates from Ubisoft eventually slowed down and they sort of just went radio silent for 2020. Ancel has also left Ubisoft amidst reports of abuse and misconduct but Ubisoft reiterated that work is still being done on the game; no dates on when the game will be done were mentioned. 

Beyond Good Evil development

In August, narrative designer Sarah Arellano who previously worked with Blizzard on World of Warcraft, joined Beyond Good and Evil 2 as its new lead writer. Work presumably continues, and Beyond Good and Evil 2 continues to log even more time in development.