The Dark Half: Endsville [Playstation, PC – Cancelled]

The Dark Half: Endsville [Playstation, PC – Cancelled]

The Dark Half: Endsville (also known as The Dark Half Interactive) is a cancelled survival horror / adventure game based on the homonymous book by Stephen King. It was officially announced in early 1997, in development by Bits Studios and to be published by THQ and Orion Interactive for Playstation and PC. Unfortunately it seems they never released any screenshot from the game, but details about the project can still be found online in various forms.

In April 1997 IGN wrote:

“T-HQ announced today that it has signed an agreement with Orion Interactive to jointly publish The Dark Half, based on the novel by horror writer Stephen King. The game will be developed by the UK’s Bits Studios.

Also involved in the development of the game will be writers Matt Costello and Paul Wilson, who previously worked on PC titles The Seventh Guest and The Keep, respectively.

Revolving around protagonist Thad Beaumont’s struggle with his evil alter ego, The Dark Half is promised to be a 3D, third-person adventure game, “that will accurately reflect the Stephen King novel,” a T-HQ spokesperson said.”

During their E3 1997 report IGN also wrote:

“A new game for the PC and Playstation will be based on the King novel The Dark Half. The game will be based on Stephen King’s novel about a writer who must struggle with his evil alter-ego. It will be a real time, 3D adventure that contains 28 levels in seven different worlds. The Dark Half: Endsville is forecast for a 1998 release.”

GamePen’s E3.NET published another press release for the game:

“Stephen King, master of disturbing prose, is coming to the PlayStation and the PC next year in fiendish style with “The Dark Half.” The game will be based on King’s eerie tale of writer Thad Beaumont’s struggle with his murderous alter-ego, George Stark. The novel will be transformed into code through the use of two different game engines, one for the pre-rendered world of Beaumont, and one for the rendered-on-the-fly nightmare world of killer George Stark.”

We also know that Jeffery Lieber (mostly known for co-writing the Lost series) would have been the game’s producer, thanks to an old blog post by Paul Wilson:

“I was delighted to see “story by Jeffery Lieber” in the opening credits.  Jeff and I go back to the mid-1990s when Matt Costello and I were scripting the “Dark Half Interactive” project for Orion Interactive; Jeff was acting as producer.  He’s not the least bit squeamish but Matt and I managed to gross him out with our “Birthing Woman” interaction (don’t ask). The project was orphaned and became vaporware when MGM bought Orion.”

More memories about working on the game can also be found in Paul Wilson books “Repairman Jack, and More” and “Aftershock & Others: 16 Oddities”.

If you know someone who worked at Bit Studios in 1997 and could still have some images from this lost game, please let us know!

Thanks to eSpy for the contrbution!

Images:


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2 thoughts on “The Dark Half: Endsville [Playstation, PC – Cancelled]

  1. TLO

    Just another source.

    http://www.stephenking.com.ar/archivo/INSOMNIA 003.pdf

    “THE DARK HALF, OTRA VEZ EN LA PC
    En el pasado número de INSOMNIA planteábamos la no existencia de buenos
    videojuegos basados en la obra de King. Bueno, parece que nos escucharon. La
    compañía Orion Interactive ha adquirido los derechos para producir un juego en
    CD-ROM basado en La Mitad Siniestra (The Dark Half). El mismo saldría a la venta
    a mediados de este año para plataformas PC y Sony Playstation, y no tendría nada
    que ver con la versión de hace unos años (y que comentáramos en el número
    anterior). El juego será distribuido por la empresa THQ Inc.
    A continuación transcribimos parte del comunicado oficial de prensa de la
    compañía:
    The Dark Half está siendo desarrollado por Bits Studios en el Reino Unido, es una
    experiencia de horror en 3D que ofrece gráficos estupendamente detallados y una
    perspectiva en tercera persona. Esta aventura en tiempo real trata de la lucha del
    escritor Thad Beaumont contra su alter-ego asesino, George Stark.
    “Estamos ansiosos por este proyecto con Orion Interactive, trayendo al amo de
    terror, Stephen King, a los millones de entusiastas que buscan la última emoción en
    CD-ROM,” dijo Brian J. Farrell, presidente y CEO de THQ.
    “Es excitante trabajar con THQ en este proyecto tan ambicioso” anunció Jed
    Weintrob, vicepresidente ejecutivo de Orion Interactive. “Nosotros estamos

    impresionamos con el éxito de THQ en la comercialización de juegos de alta
    calidad y la capacidad de llevar los mismos a los primeros lugares de venta. A esto
    hay que sumarle el genio creativo de Stephen King, las tremendas habilidades de
    los programadores Matt Costello (The Seventh Guest y The Eleventh Hour) y Paul
    Wilson (The Keep), y la última tecnología en animación y sonido estéreo. Estamos
    desarrollando el primer juego de horror 3D en CD-ROM. Será una experiencia
    absolutamente terrorífica”.
    Ojalá así sea. Esperamos ansiosos la aparición de este título.”

    English with may mistakes:

    “THE DARK HALF, BACK ON THE PC
    In the past issue of INSOMNIA we raised the issue of not having good
    video games based on King’s play. Well, it looks like they heard us. The
    company Orion Interactive has acquired the rights to produce a game in
    CD-ROM based on The Dark Half It would be released
    in the middle of this year for PC platforms and Sony Playstation, and I would have nothing
    to do with the version from a few years ago (and which we commented on in the issue
    above). The game will be distributed by THQ Inc.
    Below is a transcript of part of the official press release from
    company:
    The Dark Half is being developed by Bits Studios in the UK, it’s a
    3D horror experience that offers superbly detailed graphics and a
    third-person perspective. This real-time adventure is about the struggle of
    writer Thad Beaumont against his alter-ego killer, George Stark.
    “We’re looking forward to this project with Orion Interactive, bringing the master of
    terror, Stephen King, to the millions of enthusiasts who seek the ultimate thrill in
    CD-ROM,” said Brian J. Farrell, THQ president and CEO.
    “It’s exciting to be working with THQ on this ambitious project,” Jed announced.
    Weintrob, executive vice president of Orion Interactive. “We are

    We impressed with THQ’s success in marketing high quality games
    quality and the ability to take them to the first places of sale. To this
    you have to add the creative genius of Stephen King, the tremendous skills of
    programmers Matt Costello (The Seventh Guest and The Eleventh Hour) and Paul
    Wilson (The Keep), and the latest technology in animation and stereo sound. We are
    developing the first 3D horror game on CD-ROM. It will be an experience
    absolutely terrifying.”
    Let’s hope so. We’re looking forward to this title.”

    ———————-

    I also have 2 reviews with infos and pictures.
    https://www.kultboy.com/index.php?site=t&id=1190 (PC Joker 6/92)
    https://www.kultboy.com/index.php?site=t&id=2007 (Power Play 1/93)

    If needed, I can make a translation too.

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