Update: Michel Ancel has posted another piece of apparent Beyond Good & Evil 2 concept art, this time featuring a big shark-person in overalls. We've embedded the post below.
Original story: Michel Ancel has posted concept art on Instagram teasing story details for Ubisoft's heavily-delayed sequel to Beyond Good & Evil. The steampunk sci-fi-styled image shows a mechanic with a hoodie-wearing piglet on his shoulders that is most likely a fledgling version of the first game's porcine companion, Pey'j.
The Beyond Good & Evil and Rayman creator wrote "Somewhere in system 4," in the image caption, a sly nod to the setting of the original cult classic, first released in 2003. Ancel also thanks Ubisoft for "making this possible", suggesting that the French publisher is once again supporting development of the sequel.
Speculation has already begun regarding the identity of the beardy, sunglasses-clad male, but there can be little doubt that the hair-pulling piglet is the grumpy inventor "Uncle Pey'j" in his youth.
Pey'j played a crucial role in the first Beyond Good & Evil, starring alongside the game's protagonist and photojournalist extraordinaire, Jade.
First announced in 2008, Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been subject to numerous reports of stalled production and rumours of cancellation over the past eight years. Ancel, who left Ubisoft in 2014 to form independent studio Wild Sheep, has repeatedly assured fans that a follow-up to the critically acclaimed action-adventure title is still in the works, however.
When questioned at E3 2016, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot promised that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is "still on the way", noting that Ancel has been working on the game ever since its initial reveal despite his focus on other projects. The French designer is currently acting as project lead for Wild Sheep's PS4-exclusive prehistoric survival game, Wild.
In March, reports circulated that Nintendo had stepped in to fund the production of Beyond Good & Evil 2 as part of an agreement that would see the sequel release as a Nintendo NX exclusive. With Nintendo seemingly keen to keep its home-handheld hybrid console under wraps for as long as possible, fans will have to wait a little longer to see if a Bayonetta 2-esque deal has been put in place for Pey'j and Jade's return.