Michel Ancel is a French video game designer that works at Ubisoft. He's probably best known as the creator of Rayman, but he's also the guy behind the Cult Classic Beyond Good and Evil, a remarkably well-done game that received high ratings and a dedicated following despite being a commercial failure. His games are notable for including lots of Scenery Porn and other artistic elements.
Whatever it is he does to make his games so great, he does it really well, as all of the games he's credited with designing have been greatly received by critics and fans alike. Heck, he was even requested specifically by Peter Jackson to work on a video game adaptation of the 2005 King Kong move remake because he was a fan of Beyond Good and Evil. As such, it's not much of a surprise that Michel Ancel gets a lot of Creator Worship from fans.
When looking at the Rayman series as a whole, it's interesting to note that the adaptations in the series seem to have a fluctuation in overall reception from game to game—the more positive ones generally being the titles that Ancel himself worked on. Rayman has generally been very well-received as a solid, challenging platformer, and many fans consider The Great Escape to be the best game in the entire series. He had only an advisory role in Hoodlum Havoc, which although not a bad game lacked some of the charm present in the titles he personally directed.
Most important, though, is perhaps the development of Rayman Raving Rabbids. The game at first was supposed to be a free-roaming platformer titled Rayman 4, as seen in this early trailer. After the trailer was released to the public, Michel Ancel was notably absent from the project, and by the time the game was actually released as the bundle of Mini Games known as Rayman Raving Rabbids, the only thing he was credited for was character design.
Currently, Michel Ancel is working on Beyond Good & Evil 2 as a follow-up to the original 2003 title.
Titles designed by Michel Ancel
- Rayman 2: The Great Escape
- Beyond Good and Evil
- Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
- Rayman Origins