Microsoft

Kill Bill (Studio Gigante) [Cancelled Prototype – Xbox]

In 2005 Studio Gigante created a Kill Bill hack & slash prototype, pitched to be fully developed on the original Xbox. Players would have been able to follow the story of Tarantino’s movie, using the Bride to fight enemies with her katana. The team was mostly known for Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus, another Xbox-exclusive fighting game published by Microsoft in 2003. While they had a great 3D engine and talent for fighting mechanics, unfortunately they had to close down before being able to find a publisher interested in their Kill Bill proto.

As we can read in an old article on Polygon:

“Gigante was ready to roll onto a proper Tao Feng sequel, and Microsoft wanted it – but the proposed deal gave the team pause, as it didn’t quite offer the resources desired to pull off the more elaborate design, which featured wildly destructible stages. Simultaneously, THQ swooped in with an offer to develop WWE Wrestlemania 21 – a richer contract that could not only help build up the studio further, but possibly also secure a lucrative annual franchise. After much agonizing, the studio principals opted for THQ’s deal, leaving Tao Feng 2 dead in the water.

Not only did the team lose its passion project, but the WWE deal backfired. An incomplete build of the game was accidentally pressed and released, leading to backlash and an eventual recall and revised release. Relations between Gigante and THQ had already soured prior to release, and the poor reaction was the final nail in the coffin.

The Xbox series was dead, and the studio was running out of money. Using a proprietary engine, Gigante prototyped potential Kill Bill and Star Wars fighting games and sought new projects, but decisions weren’t being made quickly enough. By July 2005, just three months after Wrestlemania 21 shipped, the studio closed its doors.”

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Daybreakers (Trilogy Studios) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]

Daybreakers is a cancelled episodic time-traveling first-person RPG that was in development since 2006 by Trilogy Studios, planned to be released for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The company was founded by game industry veterans who worked in such companies as Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, RockStar Games and Vivendi Universal.

In Daybreakers players would have been able to explore different time-periods to find a solution to save our doomed world. The game was talked about by major websites such as IGN and Playstation Universe:

“The world is falling apart with war, disease, insurgency, and starvation rampant among humanity. The only hope lies with the Nexus Corporation, a U.S. funded group using volunteer convicts as experimental guinea pigs in an operation called “Project Daybreak.” Utilizing Project Daybreak, the Nexus Corporation studies time travel to find the means to cure the world of its problems.”

“Developed by Trilogy Studios, Daybreakers puts players in the role of undercover US secret operative Nolan Reeves who is asked to enter the world of the criminal underground, joining the Nexus Project and time traveling in order to find three escaped convicts. Upon returning from his task, Reeves finds that the only people aware of his mission, of his existence – have been killed. From this point forward he must rely on the ability to manipulate the relationships with those in the world around him: inmates, factions, and the corrupt officers and officials who permeate Nexus Island.”

“We would like to be the first team to truly monetize the online gameplay of first-person shooters,” Pole proclaimed. “It hasn’t been done. First-person shooters traditionally have not done a very good job of rewarding players. The way they reward players is that you run through a level, shoot everything on the level, finish the level, and you go to the other level and get a bigger gun. Our goal and our objective is to get a player a sophisticated and very detailed level of gameplay that hasn’t been delivered in first-person shooters by offering gamers a moment-by-moment reward system versus a level-based reward system. All these RPG elements that we mentioned will allow players to build upon their characters so they can see how well they are doing.”

“Instead of describing the game as an open world title, he told us that Daybreakers was a “dynamic world simulator“. He added that the game would feature more interactivity and more of a sense that the player’s actions have consequences in the game world. “I think that’s where games need to go, especially first person shooters,”

The first Daybreakers’ episode was planned for 2008, but the project quickly vanished and was never completed. As far as we know Trilogy Studios worked on a few social games before closing down around 2010.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Wild Summer (Novarama) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PC]

Wild Summer is a cancelled action adventure that was in development by Novarama around 2005 / 2006, planned to be released on Xbox 360 and PC. Gameplay would have been similar to Rockstar’s Bully, with a young protagonist exploring an open world city using parkour moves, resolving missions and… stealing panties?

Players could go out for drinks, flirt with girls and do other “youth leisure activities”, as covered in a 4Gamer preview (translated from Japanese):

“The range of activities is not limited to the city, but you can also travel to Sun City University and the neighboring town of El Serito. What you do in this space is entirely up to you. That’s why you go to parties and do bad things with local gangsters. […] one of the main objectives is to win Jessica over, the girl of your dreams.”

“[…] while jumping between buildings from roof to roof, I found a gang of young shaved heads in dragon shirts. […] At this point, the player was pressed against the binoculars and instructed to steal three panties that hang outside a window on the rooftop. This seems to be the initiation (rite of passage) for joining the gang.”

Today Novarama are mostly known for working on Reality Fighters and the Invizimals franchise. As we can read on their site:

“Novarama began working on PC titles, releasing Fallen Lords: Condemnation in 2005 all over Europe. We then moved on to Wild Summer, a PC / Xbox360 adventure title, which was cancelled and never saw the light of day.”

Thanks to David for the contribution!

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Cold Energy (Keystone) [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]

Cold Energy is a cancelled third person shooter / action game that was in development by Keystone Games Studio around 2008 – 2011, planned to be released on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Players would have to shoot down hundreds of enemies and huge bosses on a post-apocalypse earth, looking somehow similar to SEGA’s Gunvalkyrie.

Cold Energy’s main feature was the ability to manipulate the magnetic force, using for example metallic objects to walk on walls. As in games with psychic abilities such as Second Sight and Psi-Ops you could also lift barrels and throw them at enemies, using them like bombs.

The game was playable at various chinese gaming events and it looked quite fun to play, but unfortunately it seems Keystone Games were not able to find a publisher for their project: Cold Energy was canned and sometime later the team closed down

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Clown Combat [PS3, Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

Clown Combat is a cancelled parody FPS planned for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 that was conceived by Eagle Claw Studios around 2002 – 2003, after William Bill Anderson finished working on Maximo Ghost to Glory and opened his new team. The project was quietly announced as being in development and The Playstation 3 Bible even published the title on their “confirmed games for PS3” list, but in the end not much was ever revealed and it was soon forgotten by everyone.

In 2016 during an interview we published in our book “Video Games You Will Never Play” Bill shared some more details on his unseen game:

“Clown Combat is still on my wish list for the future, fingers crossed and I’m still working on the design. The idea behind Clown Combat was to make a mainstream FPS game that was family friendly, where the clown characters were made of morphing plastic and therefore could do things way beyond realistic shooter games of today.  It’s a parody game that pokes fun at a lot of science fiction movies along the way, from Logan’s Run to Star Wars and more. Currently I’m still working on game play designs and level designs for the game and with any luck we’ll get it made still.”

Concept art and models created for the game can be found on Bill’s Clown Combat website, also preserved in the gallery below to remember the existence of this interesting project never released on Xbox 360 and PS3. Maybe one day we’ll be able to play it on PC or next-gen consoles.

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