Participate. Inspire. Play. This is the tagline for the new Space Monkeys Program developers at Ubisoft Montpellier have instituted while their latest game, Beyond Good and Evil 2, is being developed. The Space Monkey Program is an online group BGE2 fans can join using their Ubisoft account, that allows them not only to have access to the latest news and updates about the game, but also lets them to be a part of the development process.
One of the most appealing features the program offers is early access to the game when it is ready, and the ability for participants “to crash test all of the creative and gameplay elements
that make up our game world.” And what a world it’s shaping up to be, if the E3 trailer is any indication.
How are developers using the input they receive from the Space Monkeys Program? The Space Monkey page exhibits both fan art and music that has been gathered from the forums. They also use direct votes from Space Monkeys for input, like an ongoing vote for which character fans most enjoyed in the E3 trailer with Dakini, the mysterious space captain we only see for a moment at the end of the trailer, being in the lead so far with 4,853 votes.
How the developers are going to use this input is still a little up in the air. In a recent livestream video for Space Monkeys about the game they mention wanting to “blur the line between
developers and passionate people.” How blurry that line will be still seems like the big question.
One thing is becoming quite obvious in the modern gaming climate, it is the gamers that make or break a franchise and developers (like, ahem, EA Games for instance) would do well to listen to them. Ubisoft Montpellier not only seem to know this, but are really embracing it and the Space Monkey Program may turn out to be the template for many future games if it is successful.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still in the early stages of development and a release date has not yet been set. However, if you want to get in on the fun of helping developers and join the Space Monkey Program, check it out here. Who knows? Maybe your input could help them come up with their next great game idea.