Update: Looks like Ubisoft's given up trying to keep this one quiet. In a post on Twitter, the company threw in the towel and admitted it has a 20th anniversary remaster of BG&E on the way, with more info to come in early 2024. The company also said that the build that went out to Ubisoft+ subscribers as part of this leak "is not indicative of the final game," so there's some hope for those of us put off by those dodgy screenshots making the rounds.
Original story: For years, Ubisoft has had one, single job: Not releasing Beyond Good and Evil games. To its credit, it's done the work with aplomb for a good long while now. Sure, sometimes we'll get some fanciful BG&E 2 trailer, a LinkedIn bio will change, or Joseph Gordon-Levitt will appear, but the studio's fundamental principle of not releasing a game in this series has never wavered.
Until yesterday. A few months after the ESRB leaked that Ubisoft was working on some kind of new version of the first Beyond Good and Evil for all modern platforms, achievement-tracking sites caught wind of Xbox cheevos for a Beyond Good and Evil 20th Anniversary Edition. That was soon followed up by the sudden appearance of an Xbox store listing (now taken down) for the game, which was itself followed up by reports of Ubisoft+ subscribers being able to download and play it.
All of which, it seems, occurred entirely without Ubisoft willing it, since the relevant store page has been taken down and 30 minutes of gameplay capture uploaded to YouTube has been erased by a Ubisoft copyright claim.
Of course, this is the internet, so Ubisoft is very much trying to slam shut a stable door after the horse has bolted, and screenshots and clips of the offending material continue to circulate. Having seen the gameplay capture myself (don't tell Yves), I can tell you that, yup, it sure looks like a remastered Beyond Good and Evil. Jade looks like she controls how she controlled back in 2003, albeit with higher-resolution textures and some nicer lighting tech.
Besides that, before the listing went down the description for BG&E 20th Anniversary Edition said (via Wario64) it would come in "4K, 60 fps with improved graphics, controls, and audio, along with brand-new autosave and cross-save features," along with an opportunity to "discover more about Jade’s past in a new treasure hunt throughout Hillys," which sounds like a BG&E 2 tie-in to me.
It looks good from what I saw, at least in motion, but there are some screenshots circulating online that make some aspects of the remaster look a little bit ropey. Those could just be screengrabs taken at inopportune moments, or they might signify some deeper problem with the remaster's approach. We'll only know when the thing comes out. Again. But on purpose this time.