Known gaming journalist Jason Schreier recently shared some interesting news about a cancelled game about King Arthur and how it got cancelled by Ubisoft.
According to Schreier, once upon a time Ubisoft hired Dragon Age designer Mike Laidlaw and asked him to create a new game focused on legendary historical character King Arthur. For some reason, he left Ubisoft after just a year and the game got cancelled. Schreier’s research led him to believe that the cancellation happened due to former Ubisoft Creative Chief Serge Hascoet saying that he did not like the “setting” of the game that Laidlaw created.
Laidlaw’s game was code-named Avalon and was supposed to be a role-playing game. According to the poster on Resetera, it was supposed to be a big-budget adventure that involved stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. It would be set in a sword-and-sorcery fantasy world full of knights and legends.
Hascoet did not like the fantasy genre and set a high bar for the development team for Avalon. It was quoted that the fantasy game should be “better than Tolkien” if it was going to be any good.
Schreier also revealed that Hascoet resigned earlier recently due to the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct at the company. He was also accused that he enabled and facilitated a frat house-like culture. Due to his power-hungry attitude and unfair internal procedures, the creativity of the developers was stifled. There were even prospects of great game ideas but Hascoet rejected them because he did not like the setting.
The team behind Avalon was actually doing a lot of progress with the project and they even added a cooperative multiplayer. It was heavily inspired by CAPCOM’s popular Monster Hunter game. They were shocked that the development had stopped just because Hascoet did not like it.
Laidlaw and the rest of the team made a last stand and wanted to save the project in 2019. They pitched different kinds of themes, switched the setting, and even added more science fiction just to “please” Hascoet, but he shot them all down. By fall it was cancelled and Laidlaw left the company in January.
This was a sad turn of events. There was some potential to it and could have even rivaled other triple A games if only Hascoet had an open mind. Hopefully Laidlaw is still open to start all over again and this time with his team and a publisher that understands their ideas.