Beowulf: Viking Warrior [Cancelled – PC, PS3, Xbox 360]

Beowulf: Viking Warrior [Cancelled – PC, PS3, Xbox 360]

Beowulf: Viking Warrior is a cancelled video game based on the Old English epic poem, in development in 2006 for PC (and possibly Playstation 3 and Xbox 360) by German team 4HEAD Studios (now known as Cranberry Production) before the 2007 animated movie directed by Robert Zemeckis and before Ubisoft’s own Beowulf 2007 tie-in game.

As we can read in its original press-release:

“BEOWULF is a third person action adventure with role-playing elements. Explore the northlands, fight enemies both natural and supernatural, and prove your worth among the heroes of old.

BEOWULF is based on a nordic saga that dates back to the 6th century AD. The game captures the adventure spirit of the early Viking Age, creating a unique visual interpretation of the world of norse legends with state-of-the-art 3D graphics.

BEOWULF is very combat-driven, and features a unique and innovative melee fighting system. It is the first game to bring an authentic simulation of medieval sword-fencing to the computer game medium. The advanced physics simulation system provides a high level of realism and dynamic gameplay.

Features that make the game stand out:

* combat system that faithfully emulates medieval sword-fencing

* vivid characters and beautiful 3D environments

* cutting-edge 3D technology with striking visual effects

* integrated realtime physics for action-packed gameplay

* well-known name and scenario (especially among the Tolkien fan community).”

Images shared by 4HEAD Studios show a few concept art and early renders depicting the most iconic characters and places of the original Beowulf legend, such as the protagonist itself, the monster Grendl, his mother, the Dragon, the Mead Hall. However, no actual gameplay is seen so we can assume the team was still in early development.

Gamespot used to have two teaser trailers of the game, but they are currently unavailable. Beowulf’s tie-in game released by Ubisoft in 2007 was a very different product, since it relied on the latest movie version of the Beowulf character, instead the original poem. Gameplay also deviated from 4HEAD’s concept with RPG elements, and Ubisoft’s game was more an hack ‘n slash similar to God of War.

As we can read on IGN, after Ubisoft announced their game based on the movie, 4HEAD was not able to find a publisher interested in their own version, so it had to be cancelled:

“So today 4Head (now part of DTP Entertainment) announced that its Beowulf project is no more. The company sold its trademarks, web domains and other assets related to the game to Paramount.

“With the announcement of Ubisoft’s offical game based on the movie and the conceivable competitive situation, we were seeing publishers unwilling to support our game,” said the game’s Executive Producer, Gustaf Stechmann. “We thus lacked the resources needed to drive the project’s development forward. Luckily, we had the older rights to the use of the name. The buy-out deal with Paramount was therefore the logical exit strategy.”

Thanks to AkitoKuno for the contribution!

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monokoma

monokoma

Editor in Chief, UX & SE Optimization at Unseen64
I'm an Italian gamer with not enough free time to play as much as i'd like to and sadly not enough time to write about cancelled and beta games. Founder of Unseen64 in 2001, i'd like to sleep more than 5 hours a day, but i have to pay the bills. I'm currently working for various italian & international websites for a better User Experience & Search Engine Optimization, you can add me on Twitter, Last FM or contact me by email.
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2 thoughts on “Beowulf: Viking Warrior [Cancelled – PC, PS3, Xbox 360]

  1. TLO

    PRESS RELEASE
    4HEAD’s BEOWULF discontinued after settlement with Paramount Pictures

    Hannover, 15-November-2007 – The video game “BEOWULF”, until recently in development at 4HEAD Studios, has been discontinued.

    As the new blockbuster movie „Beowulf“ from Paramount Pictures debuts in cinemas worldwide and the offical game of the movie becomes available, work on the independently developed game of same name is suspended. The game had been under development at German game developer 4HEAD Studios in collaboration with graphics and animation studio 3D-IO.

    Paramount Pictures has obtained the rights to the project’s core properties including trademarks, Internet domains, and other assets.

    Executive Producer Gustaf Stechmann comments: “With the announcement of Ubisoft’s offical game based on the movie and the conceivable competitive situation, we were seeing publishers unwilling to support our game. We thus lacked the resources needed to drive the project’s development forward.

    Luckily, we had the older rights to the use of the name. The buy-out deal with Paramount was therefore the logical exit strategy.”

    Game developer 4HEAD Studios had become financially unstable and was recently acquired by German publishing house DTP.

    More information about the upcoming Beowulf game from Ubisoft can be found online at http://www.beowulfgame.com.

  2. TLO

    Hannover, March 2006 – 4HEAD StudiosTM, the game development house behind the acclaimed The Guild series, have joined forces with 3D-IO to work on the next-generation console game Beowulf.

    Beowulf is a AAA video game that is currently under development by a joint venture of leading European entertainment software companies. In addition to 4HEAD (www.4head.de), the initiative is comprised of art and animation studio 3D-IO (www.3d-io.com) and other partners. Tobias Severin, CEO at 4HEAD Studios, is enthusiastic about the project: “We are thrilled to be providing our experience and workforce to this amazing new title. Our workflow and toolchain have been tailored specifically for large-scale productions such as this, and our team has proven that it can deliver great action adventure game experiences. We look forward to bringing the Beowulf franchise to next-generation gaming platforms.”

    Igor Posavec, Art Director at 3D-IO, is convinced of the synergy effects that the collaboration yields: “3D-IO is renowned for its unique artistic style, and is specialized on delivering stunning 3D graphics of the highest quality. Partnering with 4HEAD allows our own tech department to focus on nextgeneration visual effects and graphics. This partnership is an ideal match of skills and will allow us to significantly boost the overall production output, and thus the scale and appeal of the game.”

    Gustaf Stechmann, Producer and Creative Director of Beowulf, is equally positive about the partnership: “Beowulf is an exceptionally strong license and has the potential to make quite a splash on next-generation platforms. With 4HEAD and 3D-IO, we have brought two of the most talented teams in the industry together, in order to develop this game to its maximum potential.”

    Beowulf is a combat-driven action adventure game set in the realms of nordic mythology. It tells the story of a daring hero, Beowulf, and his adventures in the times of the early viking age. The innovative new fighting system and the exceptional story and characters make this game a must-have for action

    adventure enthusiasts. Beowulf is currently being offered for publishing. The game’s website at http://www.beowulfgame.com offers a host of material and background information.

    ABOUT 4HEADTM

    4HEAD StudiosTM is a full-service game development studio based in Hannover, Germany. 4HEAD develops intelligent PC and console games for the international market. 4HEAD is a privately owned company and was founded in 1997. Our track record includes “Die Fugger I + II”, “Europa 1400”, “Big Biz

    Tycoon II” and “Back to Gaya – The Game”. Our most recent production is “The Guild II”, the sequel to our original, highly successful PC game published in 2003. 4HEAD is an officially licensed Xbox and Nintendo developer.

    4HEAD StudiosTM / AHEAD Entertainment Software GmbH

    Bödekerstraße 84

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