Video games

Michel Ancel

Michel Ancel is a French video game director and is the creative manager of Ubisoft's development studio in Montpellier. He is well known worldwide for creating the Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil franchises. More than a simple graphic designer, he has been in charge of marking his own style in each game he has created and has managed to demonstrate that his ideas are clear and precise, because his way of thinking and philosophy are unique. Ancel's first title, Mechanic Warriors, was developed for the software house called Lankhor. Ancel then joined Ubisoft as a graphic artist at the age of 17, where he worked on graphics for games such as The Intruder and The Teller. In 1992, he started working at Rayman, where he made his directorial debut.

Michel Ancel
  • Born: 29/03/1972
  • Nationality: French
  • Profession: Video game designer

Who's Michel Ancel?

Michel Ancel is a famous French video game director, programmer and graphic designer and is the creative manager of Ubisoft studio. Known around the world for creating Rayman and Beyond Good and Evil.

Biography of Michel Ancel

Michel Ancel was born on 29 March 1972 in Monaco. When he turned 17, he met Nicolas Choukron, and it was at this moment that he joined his team at Ubisoft as a graphic designer and began to work designing games such as The Intruder and Pick’n Pile, and then began his first project as a programmer and graphic designer in Brain Blaster, a game published in 1990. This was the year the legend was really born. In 1992, and thanks to his impeccable work on previous projects, Ancel made his first role as a game director. After an arduous work, the game called Rayman, a curious platform game that was full of positive reviews for its amazing and clean design, is released in 1995.

The game was originally made for Atari Jaguar, and later on PlayStation and then Sega Saturn. He then created the game called Beyond Good & Evil, which gained a large number of followers and admirers worldwide. In 2006, he was named Knight of Arts and Literature by the French Prime Minister.

In 2011, he launches his game Origins, imposing with this video game a new design and taking out of the margin many of the games that were already on the market. In 2014 Ancel founded his own studio known as Wild Sheep, however, he assured that he would also continue working on several projects for Ubisoft.

Style of Michel Ancel

When looking for example at the whole Rayman series, it is interesting to note that the adaptations he made to the series seem to have a fluctuation in general reception from one game to another. Overall, Rayman has been very well received as a solid and challenging platform game, and many fans consider Rayman 2: The Great Escape, to be the best game in the series. He had only one advisory role in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, which, while not a bad game, lacked the same charm present in the titles he personally directed. It combines simple, but more appealing combat with running vehicles, puzzle solving, stealth and photography challenges. The environments of each of his games are very detailed and beautiful, the characters are interesting and well animated, in a stylized balance of cartoons and realistic. It also includes in its games, secret characters, imprisonments and heroes.

Acknowledgements

In 2006, he was named Knight of Arts and Literature by the French Prime Minister. It was the first time this title was given to a person in the video game industry.

He won the BAFTA Video Game Awards for Best Artistic Achievement in his work.

He succeeded in winning the BAFTA Video Game Award nominations for Best Family Game and Spike Video Game Award for Designer of the Year.

Michel Ancel’s featured video games

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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