Zone of the Enders 3 (Enders Project) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360]

Zone of the Enders 3 (Enders Project) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360]

Enders Project (also know as Zone of the Enders 3) is a cancelled game which seems to have been planned for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 (and possibly also for PS4 & Xbox One) by Hideo Kojima and Konami. The game would have been the third chapter in the popular Zone of the Enders game series, but it was scrapped at a very early stage in development.

Zone of Enders, the series

The first Zone of the Enders is a third-person shooter / hack and slash type of video game set in 2172 where the player assumes controls of a mecha (known as Orbital Frame) called Jehuty. His mission is to free Jupiter’s colony Antilia from the military force BAHRAM. Its sequel, Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner (know in Japan as Anubis: Zone of the Ender), followed the same style but improved on many aspects, introducing more enemies, abilities and a more immersive environment. ZOE 3: Enders Project was conceived as a direct sequel to Second Runner, without taking place on futuristic colonies but rather in an “ancient civilization”.

“Unofficial announcement” of ZOE 3

The game was ‘announced’ on 25 May 2012 during a Zone of the Enders HD Collection preview event held at the Shinjuku Wald 9 theatre in Tokyo, with many Kojima Productions’s employees and ZOE developers, including Hideo Kojima himself, Yoji Shinkawa (mecha designer and illustrator for the series), Noriaki Okamura, Shuyou Murata, and Nobuyoshi Nishimura. As 4gamer reported, it was not an official announcement, rather a presentation of details about a future project for ZOE, experimenting with different concepts and models.

Quote from andriasang.com:

As detailed at Famitsu.com, Kojima indicated that the game is currently in an early prototyping phase. Producer Ryosuke Toriyama and other key staff are currently conducting tests on what can be done using the internally developed Fox Engine, explained Kojima. Toriyama took the stage and revealed that he and his staff are at the state where they’re making models (real models) and converting them into Fox Engine assets.

Example of one of these model (possibly the main Orbital Frame) via tkjy’s Tumblr

http://tkjy.tumblr.com/post/23731533519/20120525-新宿バルト9にて撮影-zoe続編検討用イメージモデルとイメージイラスト

Picture of the model from Kojima’s tweet (via neogaf.com forums):

Kojima’s words on ZOE 3

Given the fact that the game was only a concept in early development, there are not many details circulating, some of them coming from a series of Twitter posts from Kojima himself.

Details and translation of the tweets appeared on SiliconeraOriginal tweets in Japanese are provided above:

Kojima says his plan is not to change the nature of the game, but the world will have a different presentation. Kojima says this title will be a true sequel. Right now, the development team is looking at two styles – a Japanese animation style with sci-fi robots and a live action real world style based on works like X-Men, Batman, and Spider-Man.

Kojima says the team isn’t trying to make a photo-realistic game, but the Fox Engine, which is still under development, is optimized for this look. Creating a global and high-end Zone of the Enders style is essential for the times and an anime style Zone of the Enders game would eat the budget and only be for a domestically designed title for Japan.

A few of his staff have the sci-fi spirit, Kojima says, and will probably want to create robots with an anime look to them.

Evangelion, Akira, and Gundam were cited by Kojima as sci-fi series from Japan with global appeal.

While Kojima is a producer on Enders Project, he’s busy working on Project Ogre. Other staff like producer Ryosuke Toriyama will lead Enders Project after Kojima creates the initial design of the game. Game design, script, direction, level design, and supervision will be handled by other staff.

Youtuber HyperBitHero details some of the possible concepts around the game:

In particular, judging from concept arts available, it looks like the game would have been based on exoskeletons, rather than mechas (but it remains pure speculation).

Why was ZOE 3: Enders Project cancelled?

Kojima announced the cancellation of the project on his HideoBlog radio show. Apparently, Zone of the Enders HD Collection failed to deliver a smooth enhancement of the two original games, and Kojima felt the need to re-evaluate the franchise before going any further. He also said that the team working on Enders Project has been disbanded.

It is unclear what will be the future for a new episode of ZOE. Konami announced yet another remaster titled Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner — Mars, developed by Cygames with 4K graphics and VR support. The game is a direct remaster of Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner and will be out in Spring 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.

Image gallery of Enders Project / Zone of the Enders 3 (via DengekiOnline):


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Damiano Bacci

Wannabe journalist and basketball nerd. Currently blogging about random stuff. Find all his writings on www.damianobacci.net and follow him at @DamianoBacci




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