Unseen64 Survived 2020: quite the strange year, wasn’t it?

Unseen64 Survived 2020: quite the strange year, wasn’t it?

2021 is coming soon and as every year we’d like to review what we did in the last 12 months for Unseen64 and make some plans for the new year. 2020 was a difficult year for the whole world: we hope you and your family could be safe, while we look forward to a better 2021. Unseen64 is just a small website about video games: there are much more important things to care about in our real lives (health, friends, family, happiness), and it’s vital to remember it during these hard times.

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Keeping this in mind, we still try to archive some memories of cancelled video games. As most of you know we work on Unseen64 in our own free time, after long hours of our day-jobs. We take away this extra time from our lives just to search info on lost games, write articles, read Unseen64 related emails, reply to messages on social networks, resolve technical issues on the website, save media and try to contact developers.

Here are some of the lost games we archived on Unseen64 in 2020:

There are now more than 3.200 unseen games archived on Unseen64!

Amazing-Tales-Project-Caspian-Flying-Labs-MMO-Xbox360-Cancelled (11)

You see just a few articles published on the site every week, but to keep Unseen64 online and updated we invest dozens of hours of work every month. As in the last few years 95% of the needed work is done by monokoma, as it has become harder and harder to find more people who can help the site steadily.

In 2020 we had the same issues as in the last few years, so the following points are just a reminder of our fragile situation. People are not much interested in a website like Unseen64, especially when popular cancelled games were already unveiled in the past, with lots of great videos talking about them on Youtube:

  • We still have hundreds of lost games for console and PC to write about, but most of them are obscure projects by small studios. There are no more popular projects like “Resident Evil 1.5” or “Sonic Xtreme” to uncover or it’s quite rare to gather information about them.
  • Even for those obscure and little cancelled games, it became harder to receive more details and write good articles. Some years ago we could contact 5 developers who worked on a lost game and we would get at least 2 or 3 answers. Now we contact 10 or 20 developers and 99% of the time we never get any answer. The Internet has become a fearsome place, where news could deform and spread uncontrollably on social networks. Many developers seem scared to talk about their old jobs, because they don’t want to get in trouble for talking to a small website.
  • Today most of our research time is spent checking old magazines, going deep into hundreds of useless Google results, finding developers portfolios, trying to load vanished websites on the Web Archive, checking abandoned forums and communities to find a few mentions about obscure games no one remembers.
  • Without being able to get in contact with developers, we cannot save more screenshots or footage for many lost games we are researching. With no exclusive images or videos, we cannot keep up with Patreon higher tier bonuses. As we wrote on Patreon, please just donate what you can really afford, just how much you think it’s worth keeping U64 alive. We cannot ensure anything more than our love for lost video games (even the most obscure, boring ones) and our mission to remember them.
  • Most people are not interested in supporting an old website in the age of Youtube.
  • Since 2019 we just dropped our plans to create new videos, because we can’t get new information from developers. With the few details, screens and videos available it’s best if we focus on preserving them on our website.

Even with all these limitations, we survived 2020 thanks to your kind help and support.

We still work every week to keep Unseen64 online and updated:

  • We keep remembering those obscure lost games on Unseen64, even if most people don’t care about them.
  • We keep sending emails to developers, even if 99% of the time we never get a reply.
  • We write as much as we can about a lost game, by doing deep-research online, in old magazines, closed websites, developers’ resumes and online portfolios.
  • Unseen64 support on Patreon remained stable in 2020 (it did not grow, but it did not decrease much compared to 2019).
  • We keep working on other methods to raise funds (as with StoryBundle ebooks and publishing short physical books using the same content we have on the site).

Patreon is essential for the survival of a niche project like Unseen64, a 20-year old website managed with love and sleep-deprivation mostly by just one italian guy.

We are grateful for your kind words and your help: without our Patrons Unseen64 would already have been closed many years ago. You prompt us to keep doing this, even during the hardest times.

We’d like to thank all of you who are currently helping U64 on Patreon:

The Supreme Commander of the Cyber-Chihuahua Ninja Army, chubigans, Malkavio, gamemast15r, ▓░▓▓▓▒▓▓▓▓▓▓))), Denhette, Nick Ostrem, Becki Bradsher, Nelson Parra, EasterRomantic, TS, Jerry Graham, Kyle Allen, Matthew Geoffino, Shane Gill, Faisal AlKubaisi, Strider Ryoken, cyborgpluviophile, Itay Brenner, Marty Thao, Alex Schaeffer, James P Branam-Lefkove, Jake Baldino, Riptide, Reoko, Kaleb Ratcliff, Tony, Nolan Snoap, Case Davis, Christopher Cornwell, Peter Lewis, Lachlan Pini, Pedro, Robert Dyson, Brandon, Goffredo, Lou, PtoPOnline, Alpha 3, Topottsel, Matthew Gyure, Joe Tangco, Brice Onken, James Jackson, Mauro Labate, Olivier Cahagne, Bransfield, tydaze, The Video Game History Foundation, Ben Salvidrim, Cameron Banga, MARTAZIA A BROWN, Daniel, Liam Robertson, joef0x, DidYouKnowGaming, Nick Robinson, Thibaut Renaux, sheq2, NuclearSaber, allan paxton, Ehren Minnich, Nathan Wittstock, Rylan Taylor, Gabe Canada and everyone else! (did we forget someone?)


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4 thoughts on “Unseen64 Survived 2020: quite the strange year, wasn’t it?

  1. Vince

    Hang in there, guys! There’s still some big holy grail games out there, I’m sure. You never know when someone’ll leak builds for, say, Doom 4 (that “Call of Doom” version everybody was not happy with), or the 3 Superman prototypes WB cancelled earlier this previous generation that we learned about a few months ago (from Rocksteady and probably WB Montreal and/or Monolith, I’m willing to bet). Maybe Scalebound or Star Wars 1313 or Everquest NEXT or Peria Chronicles or Overstrike or Deep Down or Rockstar’s AGENT – we never know what stuff will be unearthed. But I know unseen64 will do their best to find it and catalog it!

    At any rate, I’m happy to support you guys on Patreon and really enjoy your book; you just do awesome work! Happy 2021! I hope you keep finding cool games to show off and talk about. I hope your community on the website stays strong, and your Youtube channel grows a bit – I’m quite fond of your collaborations with guys like Liam Robertson, Hikikomori Media (Crank the Weasel), or… um, whoever did Project Nano. I can’t remember who did that one, but that was another great video you did!

    1. monokoma

      Thanks for your support Vince! I’m still not 100% sure why so many developers stopped answering our messages: even when someone initially send us a reply to our first email, then they never answer all of our questions.. it’s quite demoralizing :( For Doom 4 there’s a great documentary at https://youtu.be/PS6SBnccxMA but for “popular cancelled games” like these it seems only popular YouTube channels / websites now have the power to get in contact with those studios and get information :O We’ll still try to get in contact with people who worked on lost games, but maybe we are just not “cool” enough to be considered :(

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