A new report from Bloomberg Businessweek has some new details on a King Arthur game that was in the works at Ubisoft Quebec led by former Dragon Age boss Mike Laidlaw. The game was said to have been canceled because chief creative officer Serge Hascoet–who recently left Ubisoft amid workplace allegations–did not like the setting.
The report says the untitled King Arthur game was a “big-budget adventure involving stories of King Arthur and his Round Table in a sword-and-sorcery fantasy world full of knights and legends.” The game was said to be in development under the codename Avalon.
The game featured a “cooperative multiplayer world” that was likened in the report to the Monster Hunter series. Developer Jordan Mychal Lemos said on Twitter that he worked on the project twice for short periods of time. “I loved the narrative of the game and we had a super strong writing team early on. The entire team was great and driven by passion which was then crushed by Serge.”
“This was a super rough point at Ubisoft Quebec and they wasted a lot of super talented devs by not trusting them to do the jobs they were hired to do,” Lemos said.
The Bloomberg report said Hascoet was no fan of the fantasy genre. If Ubisoft were to move into the fantasy space, the game would have to be “better than Tolkien,” Hascoet is reported to have told developers.
Laidlaw is said to have pitched different themes and settings for Avalon after Hascoet initially said no, including a “more science fiction” approach and another based on Greek myths. None of these pitches got the greenlight, and Laidlaw left Ubisoft in January 2020.
Laidlaw tweeted in response to the news, but he declined to comment on the news and instead directed people to support social justice causes.
I’m sure some people are checking my feed for reactions to today’s news, so here’s the tea:
Black Lives Matter
Trans rights are human rights
BIPOC creators deserve your support
— Mike Laidlaw (@Mike_Laidlaw) July 28, 2020
Serge Hascoet left Ubisoft in early July alongside other key executives Yannis Mallat and Cecile Cornet amidst widespread accusations of abuse and promotion of a toxic work culture levelled at the company and these specific individuals.