Cybernauts: The Next Breed, formerly know as DNAction: The New Breed, Matrix Prime and Juggernauts: The New Breed, is a cancelled futuristic fighting game that was in development exclusively for the Genesis / Mega Drive that would have been published and developed by Accolade, Inc. around 1993-1994. Accolade made its name in the late 80’s and early 90s with franchise’s such as Test Drive, HardBall!, and Bubsy but started losing steam around the mid 90’s which caused the company to want to shift focus and reinvent itself. It is possible that this change of direction in the mid 90’s was the cause for some games to be cancelled in development such as Cybernauts. Accolade was also purchased by Infogrames in 1999 so any hope of the game being revisited seems to have ended there.
Although the game was never released, some info about the project and various character renders were found in old gaming magazines as Games World #1 and GamePro #56, plus some in-game screens from an early prototype found in Player One #43. Cybernauts/DNAction used pre-rendered sprites for characters and backgrounds, created with Silicon Graphics in the same way as Killer Instinct.
The game was to be placed in a future setting with scientists being able to genetically enhance humans to create their own superheroes. Some, however decide to use their powers for evil thus pitting a rivalry between those who received super powers. There were at least four planned playable characters: Pitbull and Hotshot who were members of Matrix Alpha, the superheroes trying to help society. Then the two members of the evil organization Overlord: Ground Zero and Tracer. Four additional characters were shown, Shockwave and Banzai, from Overlord, then Recoil and IronClad, from Matrix Alpha.
In May 2019, Eli Galindo, founder and CEO of Piko Interactive managed to retrieve an alpha prototype of the title. As it wasn’t complete enough to make a full game, the idea was first to launch a comic book centered around the background and characters from the game with a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter headed by a company named Virtual Comics in the summer of 2021. There was also the opportunity for the backers to play the unfinished prototype if the campaign was successful. As it turns out, it didn’t manage to reach its goal with 951$ gained on a total of 3,500$ required. Following this, Virtual Comics wrote:
Thank you to all of our backers!
We really appreciate you put time to review and pledge to our campaign!
We will go in another direction than kickstarter and release the comic book on our upcoming website and outlets like comixology.
We are in talks with publishers for physical version. In regards of the OST and the roms. We may re-use an OST in the future if we decide to fund a new game ourselves, and the roms we will try to partner with someone to make a video and a release!
The Virtual Comics Team.
Since then, it seems that no further attempts regarding Cybernauts have been made, with the Virtual Comics website appearing to be down, by the way.
Thanks to Celine and Rod_Wod for the contributions!
Article by Ja’Ron Riley and updated by Daniel Nicaise
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